A 51-year-old Hindu man has been arrested by Maharashtra police and sent to judicial custody by a Thane court, reports Times Now. His crime? He allegedly refused to accept groceries delivered by a Muslim man.
The incident took place on Tuesday when the 32-year-old Muslim delivery man went to deliver groceries at Srushti Complex home of the accused at Mira Road.
Police lodged a case against the accused under Section 295 (a) deliberate and malicious acts to outrage religious feeling or insulting religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The delivery agent reached the home of the customer – the wife of the accused – and she took delivery of the items. The allegation is that as the woman was going through the list of items, the woman’s husband asked the delivery man his name and upon learning that he is Muslim, he asked his wife to return the order.
A video of the incident is being circulated as ‘proof’.
This video is said to be from Maharashtra's Mira Road.
This person had refused to take delivery of ordered groceries because the delivery boy was a Muslim.
— Deccan Daily (@DailyDeccan) April 21, 2020
In the video, the Hindu man can be seen asking his wife to come back in the society. The person recording the video (most likely the delivery person) says, “What, sir?” The husband says “We don’t want it…we told at the outset that we (inaudible)….No, I am saying we don’t want it.”
The delivery man asks “What are you saying, sir?” The husband waves him away and says “Go”. Then the delivery person asks more aggressively, “Tell me what you are saying clearly…That you will not take goods from a Muslim?” By now the man who has reached the gate of his society says “No, won’t take.”
There is no clear evidence in the video that the accused refused the delivery because the person delivering it was Muslim.
Even then, let’s assume for a minute that the man did indeed refuse the groceries because the delivery person was Muslim. Given the spate of recent incidents involving Muslim vendors spitting on fruits (exhibit A, exhibit B), allegedly urinating on bananas and washing watermelons in gutter water, and given the acute Covid-19 crisis in Mumbai and Thane which must be making every citizen living their edgy, this is not a totally unfounded reaction.
People have seen a Maulvi in WB praying for the death of 50 crore Hindus, a Muslim man being arrested by Nasik police for creating a TikTok video of him licking & wiping his face with currency notes to infect others with coronavirus, other videos of Muslims warning that Coronavirus is “Allah’s NRC”.
The entire nation knows how the Tablighi Jamaatis have behaved after being sent to quarantine or hospitals. Doctors and nurses have given video testimony of how the Jamaatis have been spitting into their hands and then applying it on railings and hospital walls, or spitting directly at doctors and nurses, defecating in corridors or throwing urine-filled bottles into streets, roaming nude and sexually harassing nurses.
We have not seen any Muslim intellectual or well-known public face condemn any of these acts. Instead, likes of Javed Akhtar, Saba Naqvi, Arfa Khanum Sherwani, RJ Sayema and others have been ranting about ‘Islamophobia’ or issuing morality certificates to Tablighis.
Can one imagine the mental state of ordinary Hindus in this situation? Here we are, following lockdown measures despite the severe toll it is taking on our livelihoods and lives, afraid to even go for morning walks lest the police arrest us, and we are seeing Islamists openly flout all norms and brazenly attack front-line workers fighting against the virus. Are we supposed to turn into robots or zombies, that all this should have no effect on us? Aren’t we allowed to even get upset over these events?
A Dalit Hindu was shot dead for criticizing the Jamaat, an elderly woman in Bihar was killed by Muslims for lighting diyas in support of the PM’s call, another man was killed in Rajasthan by Muslim neighbours for lighting a diya on Ram Navami. Is it humanly possible for someone to remain unaffected by all this?
If the man did indeed refuse the groceries because the delivery person was Muslim, couldn’t he have been counselled by police, or let off with a warning? Did this really call for an arrest under IPC 295A – a cognizable (meaning serious crime where arrest can be made without warrant) and non-bailable offence?
We have seen Hindus being booked and arrested for angry social media posts against the Tablighi Jamaat – either calling the Jamaat chief Maulana Saad a ‘terrorist’ or calling the congregation at Nizammuddin as ‘terrorist’. Is that really so far from the truth, seeing how Jamaatis are behaving, how Saad has been absconding from police, and the actual terror links of Tablighi Jamaat – a transnational Islamist movement with followers in dozens of countries and ties to the Pakistan military?
Let’s contrast these draconian arrests of Hindus with how the secular state views those who abuse, pelt stones and assault health workers and police.
A BBC report filed by one Vikas Pandey titled, “Coronavirus: India doctors ‘spat at and attacked'” (do note the scare quotes around ‘spat at and attacked’ telling the reader that BBC is not sure of veracity of these claims) clearly shows us the first instinct of authorities when faced with violence or unruly behaviour from the ‘minority’ community.
On the stone-pelting attack on lady doctors and other health workers in Indore, an official rationalizes why the attack happened –
Dr Anand Rai, who is also a part of the Covid-19 taskforce in Indore, told the BBC: “Nothing can justify the attack against medical team. But it happened in a Muslim-dominated area where there is general distrust against the government.“
He said the area had recently witnessed protests against a controversial new citizenship law.
“So that anger spilled over and took the form of this attack. But whatever maybe the reason, nothing can justify violence, especially against doctors during a national health emergency,” he added.
On Tablighi Jamaatis walking naked in a Ghaziabad hospital naked in the hospital, harassing women doctors and nurses, asking for cigarettes and tobacco –
A senior police officer in the city told the BBC that cases had been registered against some people after doctors filed a complaint. “Registering cases was the last resort. Police are still trying to make them understand the severity of the situation,” he said.
On Tablighi Jamaatis spitting at doctors and misbehaving at a quarantine facility run by the railways in Delhi –
Deepak Kumar, spokesman for Northern Railways, said the situation there was now under control. “The attendees have been counselled and they are now co-operating with the staff,” he said.
Couldn’t the 51-year-old Hindu from Mira Road, Thane have been forgiven his ‘crime’ seeing the mental stress we all are under? Shouldn’t registering a case against him have been the last resort? Couldn’t he have been counselled like Jamaatis are being counselled?
It is official – ordinary Hindus (not Lutyens’ elites like Prashant Bhushan with Hindu names) are second-class citizens in secular Bharat. We can either shut up and just deal with it, or fight back.
For starters, can we all come to the aid of the 51-year-old probably still rotting in jail as his family desperately negotiates our convoluted legal system?
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