BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: Two TISS Alumni Mohammad Zoheb and Tarique Anwar Champarani have written a letter to all the members of Parliament. They have written this letter after the mob killed Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand. They have reminded the MPs that systematic hatred is generated against the Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis post 2014. They are being subjected to religious hate crimes. These TISS Alumni have requested the MPs to take immediate action in order to safeguard the social fabric of India and that they should urge the fellow party members to take steps forward. Their demand is that the strictest of law should be enacted to hang the slaughterers of humanity till death.
Reproduced below is the letter for BH readers.
Honourable Member of Parliament,
Heartiest congratulations on your remarkable victory in the 17th General (Lok Sabha) Elections. While we were watching your oath ceremony in the TV last week, little did we realise then that today with deep regret we would be writing this letter to you.
When the parliament was reverberating with all sorts of religious slogans during the oath ceremony, our fellow Indian Tabrez Ansari from Jharkhand was being mercilessly beaten up, allegedly for being a thief. Though the allegations are yet to be proved, what is evident from the videos is that he was made to chant certain religious slogans which are not in accordance with his religious belief and was mercilessly beaten up. Anyone who has watched the video will easily comprehend that it was hatred against a particular section of the society that led the culprits to commit this heinous crime. Had our brother Tabrez not been subjected to chanting religious slogans, we would have been convinced that his murder had nothing to do with his religion. This is not an isolated incident, as similar incidents have been reported many times in the last few years and there is a pattern to it. The spate of lynchings have been attributed to various reasons ranging from alleged consumption of beef, to getting hitched to someone from a different caste/religion and now it has reached to a point where someone is being killed for allegedly being a thief. The hatred is gradually but firmly taking the entire country into its’ fold.
More than a hundred people have lost their lives in incidents of mob violence in the recent years especially due to systematic hatred generated against the Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis. Surprisingly almost all of them are still awaiting justice including the family of Mohsin Shaikh who was killed around 5 years ago in June 2014 in Pune. There is no doubt that most of the victims hail from the most under-privileged sections of our society who hardly have any resources to fight for justice. We still remember how when Akhlaque was killed in Dadri, lot of politicians queued up to visit his family. Gradually as similar incidents became common, show of solidarity was reduced to mere statements of condemnation and then to tweets.
However, at present the deadly wild fire of mob lynching fuelled by hatred is ravaging the social fabric of our nation and we request you to take the initiative of dousing it and urging your party members to do so. If in few minutes your party can mobilise a crowd of thousands for political rallies and convince them to vote for it, then your clarion call to the people of our nation to maintain peace will be immensely helpful in restoring the communal harmony in our nation. We don’t want our India to be dragged into the 90’s and we are sure you would never let it happen. It is none of our business to advise you on how much fair it is for our honourable members of Parliament to incite each other by raising religious slogans against one another but remember when they do so in the Parliament, the hate-mongers in the street get emboldened by it and try the same with our fellow countrymen. Those lynching innocents in the land of “Shri Ram” are slaughterers of humanity and thus the strictest of law should be enacted to hang them till death. Though the hate is directed against a particular community (Muslims) at this stage, it has the potential to take the entire country in its grip and result in loss of life on both sides.
In the light of the incidents of lynchings which have again raised its’ ugly head after a brief lull, we would like to draw your attention to the Supreme court directives issued last year. On July 17, 2018 the Supreme court not only condemned lynching incidents but also remarked “horrendous acts of mobocracy cannot be tolerated and cannot be allowed to become a new norm”. It further said that “ This has to be curbed with an iron hand…..no citizen can take law into his hands or become a law on to himself. State and central government must take preventive, punitive and remedial measures to stop lynching.” The then Chief Justice of the Supreme court, Justice Dipak Mishra issued directions to the centre and the state to prevent and punish lynching .
The key directives were:
1.States to designate officer of SP rank as nodal officer in each district to prevent mob violence.
2.Centre, states to broadcast Radio, TV and online messages warning that lynching and mob violence shall invite serious consequences.
3.FIRs must against persons spreading fake/irresponsible messages/videos.
4.Police, district administration’s failure to comply with SC’s directions will be deemed deliberate negligence.
5.States to draw up compensation scheme for lynching with provision for interim relief to victims(s) next of kin within 30 days
6.Lynching cases to be tried by fast track courts in each district and preferably concluded in 6 months.
The apex court had directed the Centre, states and UTs to widely publicize its directions given on the verdict on mob violence. It asked them to put the information on measures to curb the mob violence on their websites so that people would know the recourse available to them. The officers were asked to constitute a Special Task Force to procure intelligence and information about those likely to commit such crimes or were involved in spreading hate speeches, provocative statements and fake news.
The fear of the law needs to be invoked so as to deter mobs from taking law into their own hands. The police also needs to be sensitised about the apex court’s directives regarding mob lynching. Had it been done so, our Tabrez and others like him would still have been alive.
We hereby hope that you and your party members will raise this issue time and again in the temple of our Democracy until justice is delivered to all the victims and due compensation is awarded to them. Also, we pin our hope on you to make sure that the government follows the directives of the Supreme Court in both letter and spirit to curb incidents of mob violence and restore the social fabric of our nation. In case the government still fails to comply with the Supreme court order on mob lynching, we request you to move a private member bill directing the government to follow the same. These incidents not only make the citizens of our country suffer, but also bring disrepute to our nation in the international arena. The least which we could do now is to make sure justice is delivered to the victims and a precedent be set by subjecting these hooligans to the strictest of punishments so as to deter them from taking law into their own hands.
Honourable Member of Parliament, please act before it is too late and we be dragged into the India of the early 90’s.
Regards & Thanks,
Mohammad Zoheb & Tarique Anwar Champarani