Three Men Arrested in Connection with Mob Attack on Muslim Man Suspected of Carrying Beef
Police in eastern Bihar state in India have arrested three men in connection with the death of a Muslim man who was attacked because he was suspected of carrying beef. The victim, Naseem Qureshi, 56, died earlier this week after being attacked by a mob on suspicion of carrying beef, the sale and consumption of which is restricted in some parts of the country by local governments.
According to a police statement in court, Qureshi was allegedly surrounded by more than 20 people and attacked. Police intervened but he died on the way to the hospital. Ramchandra Tiwari, head of Rasulpur police station in Bihar, where the crime took place, told Reuters news agency by phone on Saturday that three people were arrested.
Cows are considered sacred in Hinduism, and there have been frequent attacks on those accused of killing them for meat or leather, predominantly people from the minority Muslim population or those on the lower rungs of India’s ancient caste system. Hardline Hindu groups have been demanding a complete ban on cow slaughter across India.
Self-styled Hindu cow vigilante groups have taken to enforcing the law themselves ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government came to power in 2014. Bihar is currently ruled by a regional party, and Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party sits in the opposition.
The attack on Qureshi is just one example of the ongoing violence against Muslims and other minorities in India. In recent years, there has been a rise in hate crimes against Muslims, Dalits (formerly known as “untouchables”), and other marginalized groups.
The Indian government has been accused of failing to protect these communities and even encouraging the violence through its policies and rhetoric. Critics say that the government’s Hindu nationalist agenda has emboldened extremist groups and created an atmosphere of intolerance and hatred.
In 2019, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) downgraded India to its lowest ranking for religious freedom, citing the government’s failure to protect minorities and its discriminatory policies.
The USCIRF report highlighted several issues, including the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which fast-tracks citizenship for non-Muslim immigrants from neighboring countries, and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which requires people to prove their citizenship and has left millions of Muslims at risk of being declared illegal immigrants.
The report also noted the increasing violence against religious minorities, including mob attacks by cow vigilantes and other extremist groups.
India’s ruling party has dismissed these criticisms as baseless and politically motivated. They argue that the government is committed to protecting all citizens and promoting religious harmony.
However, many activists and human rights groups remain concerned about the situation in India. They say that the government’s actions have created a climate of fear and division, and that urgent action is needed to address the root causes of the violence and discrimination.
In the case of Naseem Qureshi, his death is a tragic reminder of the dangers faced by Muslims and other minorities in India. It is a stark illustration of the need for greater protection and support for these communities, and for an end to the culture of impunity that allows hate crimes to go unpunished.