The 27-year-old gym trainer was lynched on May 16 by a gang of goons when he was on his way home
NEW DELHI – Days after Asif Khan was lynched in Haryana’s Mewat region by a gang of goons, tens of thousands of Hindu right-wing supporters held Mahapanchayat backing those arrested on murder charges.
Reports citing eye witnesses said around 50,000 people gathered at a Mahapanchayat in Indri village of Nuh district on May 30. The assembly of Hindus at a school ground in support of the Khan’s murderers was allowed to take place despite restriction imposed by the government in view of the Covid-19 pandemic which continues to consume thousands even today. People had come from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to attend the gathering in a show of strength for Hindutva in a region with considerable Muslim population. It was chaired by Arun Jaildar.
Mahapanchayat in Indri was preceded by small gatherings in other villages including Kira and Badoli villages. These gatherings were a preparation for the Indri Mahapanchayat.
Khan, 27, a gym trainer, was lynched on May 16 by a gang of goons when he was in his car on the way to his home. Khan’s cousin Rashid, according to reports, had alleged that the gang had forced Asif to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and warned that they will kill all Muslims. Rashid had managed to escape after having been brutally thrashed by the goons.
The police filed a case naming 14 people but said that the murder had no communal angle and was a result of personal animosity.
The speakers at the Mahapanchayat, while addressing the crowd, said that the accused are innocent and demanded that the government should release them. According to The Wire, at Indiri, a committee of 101 men was formed to pressurise the government for their release, else they will hold bigger rallies.
A Muslim group in Haryana, Muslim Rakhsha Dal, has filed a complaint with police against the Mahapanchayat saying that these are being held to “spread hatred” against Muslims. The complaint said that speeches by the organisers are stoking hatred and creating a divide between Hindus and Muslims.
Videos of the speeches have gone viral showing the Hindutva leaders making vile and abusive remarks against the Muslim community.
Bittu Bajrangi, Hindutva activist calls Muslims ‘pigs’ and himself ‘jihadiyon ka jija (brother-in-law of jihadis) in one video. “This Indri panchayat is a small panchayat. If any Muslim troubles my Hindu brothers, then people from the whole country will gather in this village. At present, only people from Delhi NCR have gathered…The people who killed Asif to send him to 72 hoors have done a good job. We stand with their families,” said Bittu, who came from Faridabad.
Suraj Pal Amu, the head of a Hindu right-wing extremist outfit Karni Sena began his speech in Indri asking the crowd if they are “true Hindus” or whether there are any “Pakistan ki aulaad” (child of Pakistan).
Amu boasted about the henious act of the accused as he said that Khan was killed for his deeds. He resorted the same bogus and conspiracy theories against Muslims as he said: “They click nude pictures of our mothers and sisters, we can’t even murder them…We will shoot them let’s see who has drunk milk of his mother to stop us…It is said that Hindus and Muslims are brothers. Whose brothers? These people are butchers.”
The calls for release of the accused were also made by Bharat Mata Vahini’s chief Dinesh Thakur, the head of another Hindutva outfit. Thakur who addressed the rally in Indri and uploaded a video on Facebook said he will welcome AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi with shoes and stones if he visits Mewat.
Sunil, a BJP worker who is associated with the party’s infamous IT Cell in Palwal district, put out pictures of the gathering of Basalat village on his Facebook page. He said people from 36 sub-communities turned up in support of the accused. According to Sunil, BJP leaders also attended the gathering.
He warned that if their demands of release of the accused are not met they will hold another massive rally after 10 days. According to The Wire report, Sunil said their next step would be to block the main water pipe of Palwal to stop supply of drinking water to the Muslim-dominated Mewat.