Thousands of people in have turned out in protests across India against a wave of attacks on Muslims by mobs that accuse them of killing cows or eating beef. The demonstrators were waving “Not in My Name” banners and “Stop Cow Terrorism” signs, braved monsoon rains in at least ten cities including New Delhi.
Many Hindus worship the cow as sacred to their religion. Critics accuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s and the ruling party of fomenting or not doing enough to stop violence against Muslims and lower-caste Hindus who eat beef or work in the meat and leather industries. Modi denies the accusation and has publicly criticized so-called cow vigilantes.
Last Friday, approximately 20 men attacked four Muslims on a train in the outskirts of New Delhi, fatally stabbing a teenager and seriously injuring two others. In Mumbai, protesters refrained from shouting slogans but held up banners reading “stand up to Hindu terrorism” and “say no to Brahminism.”
The protests follow the stabbing death of a 6-year-old boy accused of possessing beef on a train. And the beating of a man whose house was set on fire by a mob that accused him of slaughtering a cow in eastern Jharkhand state.
Almost all of the 63 attacks since 2010 involving cow-related violence were recorded after Modi and his Hindu nationalist government came to power in 2014, IndiaSpend, a data journalism website, said in a report.