Indian fanatics assail, rob Muslim family

A Muslim family was brutally attacked and robbed on Wednesday in the Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh, India while onboard a train, The Hindu reported.

The victims allegedly suffered fractures and internal injuries in the head and stomach. The Railway Police have filed a case and detained three assailants. According to a member of the family, Shakir, the men identified the family as Muslim after they noticed veil-clad women accompanying them on the Shikohabad-Kasgang passenger train.

Shakir said, “We were attacked with rods. They robbed us and molested the women. They did not spare even my 17-year-old mentally challenged son. These people jumped inside the train, groped the women and snatched their chains. Some of the passengers who came to our rescue were also attacked.”

Much of the recent violence has been focused on cows.

Several fringe Hindu groups, apparently emboldened by the stunning political rise of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, have attacked Muslim cattle traders and dairy farmers.

Muslims constitute about 14 per cent of India’s 1.3 billion people, while Hindus comprise 80 percent.

Rights groups say government officials, including the prime minister, were reluctant to strongly condemn the attacks and that police action against perpetrators have been inadequate.

Five of the killings occurred in last three months. It is to be noted that these killings were conducted in broad daylight and in busy public areas.

On April 1, 2017, Pehlu Khan, a Muslim cattle trader, was lynched by a mob in the western state of Rajasthan when he was transporting cattle back to his home state of Haryana. Khan and his family were the small dairy farmers.

In May last, two Muslim men were beaten to death over allegations of cattle theft in India’s northeast.

Over the last two years, vigilante groups, who call themselves cow protectors, have become active in small towns and cities across India. Even lower-caste Hindus who carry out undesirable tasks such as skinning dead cattle have faced mob violence.