Cases of lynching and mob attack are sad and unfortunate but not new. There have been multiple incidents of cow related violence and attacks on Muslims in the recent years. In last eight years (2010 to 2017) the numbers of such cases have increased.
As per a report in IndiaSpend, there have been as many as 63 cases of violence centered on bovine issues where 28 people have been killed in the last 7 years. What is disturbing is the fact that out of 28 Indians who died in a seven-year period, 24 were Muslims.
However, the article also states that there has been a considerable rise in these cases since Narendra Modi took charge as the Prime Minister in May 2104. Of the cases reported after Narendra Modi came to power, 32 of 63 cases are said to have been from states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Eight incidents have been reported from states ruled by Congress and remaining by other parties, including Uttar Pradesh (in Samajwadi Party rule), People’s Democratic Party (Jammu and Kashmir) and Aam Aadmi Party (Delhi).
Highest number of cases reported in 2017
In first six months of 2017, the data on cow related violence reveals an upward trend. In just six months in the year, as many as 20 cases have been recorded. This data is already 75% of the total such incidents that were reported in 2016.
Such incidents include mob lynching, attacks by vigilantes, murder and attempt to murder, harassment, assault and gang-rape. There were two incidents in which the victims/survivors were chained, stripped and beaten and in other two, the victims were hanged.
Rumours were the cause of 52% of attacks
The report states that out of 63 attacks since 2010, 33 were based on rumours. On April 1, a resident of Haryana, Pehlu Khan was beaten by a mob when he was on his way to Haryana after transporting cows from Rajasthan. As per a report in The Indian Express, 55-year-old Pehlu Khan had all the documents needed for transporting of cows. He succumbed to injuries two days after the incident.
Meanwhile, as per a report in India Today, there is no specific punishment for lynching and hence it is difficult to deliver justice in these cases. “Lynching does not find mention in the Indian Penal Code. No particular law has been passed to deal with lynching”, stated India Today on June 25.