Aruna Roy: Why are you cre­at­ing a Tal­iban in In­dia, for­eign­ers ask me

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Front Page - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

IN PROTEST Ac­tivists protest govt in­ac­tion in al­leged lynch­ing of Za­far Hus­sein, say Ra­jasthan has turned into ‘lyn­chisthan’

Noted so­cial ac­tivist Aruna Roy, while ad­dress­ing a protest meet­ing in Jaipur on Mon­day, said that peo­ple she meets on her foreign tours often ask her why a “Tal­iban is be­ing cre­ated in In­dia”. Her com­ments came in the wake of re­cent in­ci­dents of mob vi­o­lence and vig­i­lan­tism in the coun­try.

The five-day sit-in, which be­gan on Mon­day, has been or­gan­ised by civil rights groups to protest against the al­leged lynch­ing of Za­far Hus­sein.

Hus­sein, who protested against civic of­fi­cials click­ing pho­to­graphs of some women defe­cat­ing in the open in Pratapgarh, was bru­tally beaten up by civic of­fi­cials re­sult­ing in his death. The of­fi­cials were pho­tograph­ing the women as part of the nam­ing and sham­ing pol­icy un­der the Swachh Bharat Ab­hiof yan.

Roy said that In­dia has shown the way of peace to the world and it’s dis­turb­ing that it is now earn­ing in­famy over in­ci­dents of mob vi­o­lence. “What Gandhi demon­strated in this coun­try was fol­lowed by Martin Luther King Jr in the United States and Nel­son Man­dela in South Africa,” said Roy, the founder of Maz­door Kisan Shakti San­gathan (MKSS).

Fur­ther­ing the dis­course, Kavita Sri­vas­tava of Peo­ple’s Union for Civil Lib­er­ties (PUCL) said that Ra­jasthan is slowly be­com­ing “lyn­chisthan” (lynch­ing ground) and rule of mob has taken over the state. The PUCL gen­eral sec­re­tary men­tioned the lynch­ing of Pehlu Khan by cow vig­i­lantes in Al­war in April among a num­ber of other in­ci­dents of mob vi­o­lence in the state.

Sri­vas­tava also said that the most ‘shame­ful’ as­pect was the reg­is­ter­ing of FIR against the vic­tims. “It hap­pened in the case Mo­ham­mad Akhlaq in Dadri and Pehlu Khan, and the same script is un­fold­ing in the case of Za­far Hus­sein,” said Sri­vas­tava.

The mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner, who is an ac­cused in Za­far’s lynch­ing along with three oth­ers, has filed a case against Za­far al­leg­ing that he had at­tacked the of­fi­cials. He de­nied that his men had as­saulted Za­far.

The post-mortem re­port of the vic­tim said that Za­far died due to car­dio-re­s­pi­ra­tory fail­ure but his kin re­jected the re­port al­leg­ing that it has been ma­nip­u­lated. Chief min­is­ter Va­sund­hara Raje termed Za­far’s death of as “demise” on Twit­ter on Sun­day.

“We are an­gry at the au­thor­i­ties try­ing to project it as a nat­u­ral death. We de­mand the im­me­di­ate sus­pen­sion and ar­rest of the ac­cused, a con­sti­tu­tion of a high-level in­quiry into the case, a com­pen­sa­tion of one crore ru­pees for the vic­tim’s fam­ily and the im­me­di­ate con­struc­tion of com­mu­nity and in­di­vid­ual toi­lets in Hus­sein’s lo­cal­ity,” said Sri­vas­tava.

In ad­di­tion, the ac­tivists said that pho­tograph­ing defe­cat­ing women is a crime un­der sec­tion 354C (cap­tur­ing image of a woman in a pri­vate act) of In­dian Pe­nal Code and the pol­icy be im­me­di­ately stopped.

The groups are also de­mand­ing ac­count­abil­ity from the govern­ment, places for demo­cratic protests in all cities close to the district au­thor­i­ties, and protested against the manda­tory link­age of Aad­haar with the pub­lic dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem, mid-day meals and pen­sions of in­te­grated child de­vel­op­ment ser­vices.

Aruna Roy also ex­pressed her dis­ap­proval re­gard­ing the re­cent changes in the school text­books of Ra­jasthan. “The way they are dis­tort­ing his­tory and chang­ing the cur­ricu­lum, no stu­dent from the state will get ad­mis­sion in foreign uni­ver­si­ties,” said Roy.


Aruna Roy at the sit­in near the state assem­bly in Jaipur on Mon­day.

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