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Mainstream, VOL LIII, No 15, April 4, 2015

Behind Barbaric Lynching in Dimapur

Sunday 5 April 2015, by Humra Quraishi


Those of us who’d looked and sounded aghast at those officially conducted beheadings and killings in several countries, need to speak out at the barbaric lynching of a rape accused in Nagaland’s Dimapur. For one, every rape accused needs to defend his case; chances are that the accused was framed and with that nailed. And in this bizarre case, the accused, Farid Khan, could not have been dragged out of the prison hell-hole without the official support of the jailor /jail staff and the local cops. Not just dragged out but lynched. On grounds that he was a rapist and also a ‘Muslim outsider’, an illegal immigrant.

Today, when Farid Khan’s broken frame lies well buried into the earth, there are more than pointers to suggest that there are doubts about the very rape charge flung at him and also about the fact that he was an outsider. He was a Muslim. But not an outsider and not an illegal immigrant. His family hails from Assam. And if local reports are to be believed, his father had worked for the Indian Army and one of his brothers died in Kargil.

With this backdrop, we have lynched an innocent man! Killed him out there in the open! Stripping him, parading him naked before killing him! In fact, this Dimapur case ought to be discussed a hundred times till we realise what’s going on in a zone which has heavy military and police presence. All the policing powers and military might could not protect the life of a man—this, when there was ample time to halt his killing; after all, he was first paraded and then that barbaric killing took off, out there in the open!

Of course, looms large the larger question—ethnic and religious divides prevailing in the North-East. But why North-East alone! All around us. And these divides are gaining momentum at an alarming pace. Many a time state-sponsored and politically manufactured.

Today we do ‘celebrate’ all possible days and nights! But what’s there to celebrate, when there’s enough to mourn in these dark, medieval times we are living in. In fact, women’s groups should visit Nagaland and see for themselves the mess spreading out, with innocents killed with false charges flung around. What if Farid Khan was an immigrant—do we have the right to attack and sideline and butcher an immigrant!

The tragedy is that the International Women’s Day, as all other days, has been grabbed by the fashionable lobbies on the circuit and with that actual issues are seldom brought to the fore. Look at the hue and cry we raised at this BBC-produced documentary based on a rape victim. Can’t we see and view and hear some hard-hitting facts! Or are we going to die lapping the bogus propaganda of development and greatness and what not!

It’s these layers of hypocrisy which are killing us ...rather too systematically ruining us. The day we can speak out freely and rather too fearlessly, will be the day paving way for development.

Development in the actual sense of the term.