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2-min read

Now Chennai Says #NotInMyName, Protests Lynchings by Cow Vigilantes

From raising slogans to poetry and singing and dancing, the protesters spoke out against mob violence and victimization of Muslims and Dalits in the name of cow protection.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:July 2, 2017, 12:00 AM IST
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Now Chennai Says #NotInMyName, Protests Lynchings by Cow Vigilantes
People holding placards as part of 'Break the Silence' protests in Chennai on Friday. (Photos: CNN-News18)
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Chennai: More than 500 people gathered at Valluvar Kottam in Chennai on Saturday to condemn the attacks on minority communities across India. Holding aloft placards as part of ‘Break the Silence’ protest, they demanded an end to lynchings by cow vigilantes.

Several people all over the country have taken to the streets to raise their voice against violence, saying #NotInMyName. From raising slogans to poetry and singing and dancing, the protesters spoke out against mob violence and victimization of Muslims and Dalits in the name of cow protection.

A few prominent faces, including poet Salma, activist Nityanand Jayaraman and art editor Sadanand Menon participated in the demonstration. Sadanand Menon said: “This is a national level movement and is going to snowball into something big.”

Students from Loyola and Madras School of Social Work also joined the protest. They said wanted to covey a strong message that “everyone is our brother and there should be no violence against people.”

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People from all walks of life, including students and activists, participated in the protest.

Thousands of people had also protested against the lynchings in Delhi and four other cities as part of #NotInMyName protests on Wednesday. A day later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that killing in the name of cow protection is unacceptable, but the chorus for strict action has only grown since then.

On Saturday, President Pranab Mukherjee also condemned vigilante violence and hit out at those killing in the name of “Gau Raksha.”

The issue of cow-protection has come to the centre stage as a number of people, many of them Muslims, have been lynched, beaten and intimidated for transporting cows and other cattle. Even government rules regarding cattle slaughter have added to the atmosphere of fear and confusion.

One of the most high-profile case was of Junaid, a 15-year-old who was stabbed to death by a mob on a train over suspicions that he was carrying beef. Pehlu Khan, a farmer from Haryana, was also murdered in April by so-called cow protectors in Rajasthan while transporting cows legally purchased from a market in Jaipur.

Other communities have also suffered violence at the hands of the cow protectors. Banjara villagers in Rajasthan, whose traditional occupation is buying cattle and selling it for agricultural purposes, were assaulted in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan.

Gau rakshaks have become so brazen that earlier this month they assaulted a team of animal husbandry officials from Tamil Nadu who were transporting cattle in Barmer.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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