India: Hindu group beats Muslim man to death in Uttar Pradesh

4th May 2017
India: Hindu group beats Muslim man to death in Uttar Pradesh

By Shuriah Niazi

 

NEW DELHI, India (AA): A Muslim man in northern Uttar Pradesh state was beaten to death on Tuesday by suspected members of a right-wing Hindu group for allegedly helping his neighbor elope with a Hindu girl, Indian media reported on Wednesday.

Police official Bulandshahar told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday: “We have already arrested three accused and are looking for others in the case.”

At least 10 members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, an organization set up by Uttar Pradesh state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in 2002, were involved in the attack on 59-year-old Ghulam Mohammad, according to the victim’s son.

The assailants reportedly alleged that Mohammad’s neighbor, 19-year-old Yusuf, had allegedly abducted a Hindu girl last week. They accused Mohammad of allegedly helping his neighbor before killing him.

The girl’s parents had also lodged a complaint of kidnapping against Yusuf.

On Tuesday, the attackers took Ghulam Mohammad to a secluded place and beat him to death.

Since his appointment, units of the Hindu Yuva Vahini have ramped up their anti-Muslim rhetoric and launched a campaign against so-called “Love Jihad” – what they regard as an Islamist strategy to convert Hindu women through seduction and marriage.

“The case of a Hindu girl eloping with a Muslim boy led to religious tension and members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini declared it was Love Jihad,” said Jagdish Sharma, a police officer leading investigations in Bulandshahr district, 70 km (40 miles) to the southeast of India’s capital New Delhi.

“The Muslim farmer was beaten to death in a mango orchard after he refused to share the whereabouts of the couple,” said Sharma.

The spokesman of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, P.K. Mall, denied that any members of Adityanath’s youth force had been involved in the attack.

“We don’t want Muslims to convert Hindu girls but we are not involved in any criminal activity,” he told Reuters. “There is a clear conspiracy to insult Yogi Adityanath and our religious group.”

 

India’s most populous state has witnessed increase in attacks against Muslims after Adityanath took charge as chief minister of the state in March this year.

Last month, members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini attacked a couple inside their house in Meerut town, alleging the Muslim man had forced the Hindu woman to accept Islam as her religion.

Additional report from Reuters

[Map of India showing Uttar Pradesh. By CC by sa PlaneMad Wikimedia]

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