Victim’s religion acted ‘In favour’ of accused: Indian Hindus who allegedly beat a Muslim to death granted bail by judge.

January 18, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Maharashtra, January 18, 2017; Three Hindu men accused of murdering a Muslim in India have been granted bail by a judge who said that the religion of the killed man acted “in favour” of the accused.

The three men, who were in custody on a charge of beating the Muslim man to death with hockey sticks in 2014, were told by Mumbai High Court judge Mridula Bhatkar: “The fault of the deceased was only that he belonged to another religion. I consider this factor in favour of the accused. Moreover, the accused do not have any criminal record and it appears that in the name of the religion, they were provoked and have committed the murder”.

The victim, 28-year-old Mohsin Shaikh was on his way with a friend to dinner on a motorbike when the pair were dragged off and beaten with the hockey sticks as well as bats and stones, according to reports.

While Mohsin was left bleeding and unconscious on the road, his friend escaped.

Three of the 21 people arrested – Vijay Rajendra Gambhire, Ranjeet Shankar Yadav and Ajay Dilip Lalge – were granted bail last Thursday.

The judge also said that the accused “had no motive such as any personal enmity” against Mohsin.

Mohsin’s family is expected to appeal to the High Court.

Mohsin’s father Sadiq Shaikh was quoted by the Indian Express as saying: “Is provocative speech permissible for murder of an innocent person from another religion? All three accused were arrested from the murder spot.”

On June 2, 2014, the accused had been attending a meeting of the rightwing group Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) at Hadapsar, Pune, after the alleged defiling of a statue of King Shivaji Maharaj. According to reports, those attending the meeting had been “instigated” and started roaming around looking for people to attack.

The Indian Express reported that the victim was wearing a pastel green colour shirt and had sported a beard.

Observers are likely to be alarmed at the case because it effectively means that religious hate crime is being downgraded in India.

This month, Open Doors revealed that India has risen to No. 15 on its 2017 World Watch List for persecution against Christians. Just four years ago, India ranked No. 31 on the Open Doors list.

According to International Christian Concern, a major increase in violence, which has coincided with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) rise to power in India’s federal government in 2014, could be reaching unprecedented levels.

– christian today

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