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Indian Americans condemn first cow lynching in Modi’s third term; demand an end to impunity for cow vigilantes


Washington, D.C. (June 11, 2024) – The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) today vehemently condemned the brutal mob lynching of two Muslim men by Hindu extremist cow vigilantes in Chhattisgarh state, just days after far-right Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party led coalition won a third term to office.

The incident is a glaring reminder that while Modi might have lost a majority in India’s general elections, the climate of anti-minority violence encouraged by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its Hindu supremacist supporters remains a dangerous reality that continues to threaten the lives of Muslims and other minorities.

On the night of June 6, 23-year-old Chand Miyan, 35-year-old Guddu Khan, and 23-year-old Saddam Qureshi were attacked by cow vigilantes while transporting cattle from Chhattisgarh to Odisha state. Police confirmed that the attack was pre-planned and that the cow vigilantes had followed their truck and planted sharp nails in their path.

Miyan’s relative and Qureshi’s friend reported that they were both called by the victims between 2-3 am, during which Miyan said they were being attacked by a mob, and Qureshi could be heard “crying for help and begging for water.”

Miyan’s body was found under a 30-foot-high bridge, along with Qureshi and Khan, who were critically injured. Khan succumbed to his injuries in the hospital, while Qureshi remains undergoing treatment.

“Cow vigilantism is terrorism against Muslims,” said IAMC President Mohammed Jawad. “For ten years, Modi and the BJP have normalized and even celebrated this form of terrorism, leading to the deaths of hundreds of Muslims over the years. Unless those who encourage cow vigilantism and those who perpetuate this violence are both held accountable, mob lynchings will only continue to claim lives.”

“It is now the responsibility of India’s opposition parties to fight for policies that will end impunity for cow vigilantes,” said IAMC Executive Director Rasheed Ahmed. “Modi and his supporters cannot be allowed to get away with another five years of normalizing horrific murders in the name of Hindu extremism.”

IAMC extends its deepest condolences to the victims' families and stands in solidarity with the Muslim community in India. We urge the Indian government to take strict action against those responsible for this heinous act of terrorism and to ensure that justice is served.

Furthermore, the Indian government must take urgent steps to curb the growing danger of cow vigilantism, including by taking strict action against politicians, Hindu supremacist group leaders, and other actors who glorify cow vigilantism and other forms of anti-Muslim violence.

IAMC also calls upon India’s opposition parties, civil society organizations, human rights groups, and the international community to condemn cow vigilantism as a form of terrorism and to ensure that the Indian government takes the necessary steps to ensure the safety of its Muslim citizens. We urge the Indian government to take swift action to bring an immediate end to the violence and discrimination against religious minorities and to uphold the principles of justice, equality, and human rights.