Read More Atheist Republic On October 4, plainclothes police officers in Gujarat, India, publicly flogged nine Muslim men in front of a cheering crowd. Video of the flogging went viral catching the attention of human rights groups.
This video is said to show several Muslim men being flogged by police after they were accused of throwing stones at a Hindu festival dance event in India’s Gujarat state pic.twitter.com/OJB7yOeytk
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) October 6, 2022
The police accused the Muslims of throwing rocks during a Hindu religious event. The men were tied to a pole one by one to receive public floggings. The Muslims were then made to apologize to the crowd of onlookers and were whisked away in a police van.
Amnesty International has called the incident a human rights violation that “shows utter disrespect for the law.”
— NDTV (@ndtv) October 7, 2022
Senior Superintendent of Police, Rajesh Gadhiya, explained to Al Jezeera that during the nine-day Hindu festival of Navratri, Muslims objected to celebrations taking place near a mosque. When devotees participated in Garba, a traditional dance, the Muslims pelted them with stones. He said at least seven Hindus were wounded, two of which were severely injured.
Gadhiya said that eighteen Muslims had been arrested and cases brought against 25 others. When asked about the legality of the floggings, Gadhiya said they were investigating.
Gyasudding Sheikh, a Congress Party’s Legislative Assembly member, wants action against the police officers. He was joined by fellow Congress leader Karti P. Chidambaram who took to Twitter to ask, “What next, public beheadings? And the chants?”
Opposition leaders were joined by the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), which said in a statement, “Police in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party ruled Gujarat state publicly flogged nine Muslim men in front of a cheering crowd chanting “Hail Mother India” slogans, This is cruel, inhuman, and prohibited under the International Human Rights Law.”
In an October 7 article, Human Rights Watch said, “The authorities in several Indian states are carrying out violence against Muslims as a kind of summary punishment. Officials blatantly disregarding the rule of law are sending a message to the public that Muslims can be discriminated against and attacked.” HRW also pointed out that the recent illegal demolition of Muslim homes, shops, and warehouses is collective punishment.
Meanwhile, BJP General Secretary, Pradipsinh Vaghela, congratulated the police. “The action taken by the police was absolutely right. In the future also, if such a thing happens, then the police should act similarly,” he said.