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Read why Bharat Yadav was trending on Twitter as people mourned death of Tabrez Ansari

Two incidents of hate crime, only one triggers national outrage.

In an unfortunate incident, twenty-four-year-old Tabrez Ansari was allegedly lynched by a mob in Jharkhand on suspicion of theft on June 17. He was reportedly forced to say ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’ by the mob. Four days later, on June 22, he succumbed to his injuries.

A case against the villagers was registered under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religions or religious beliefs) among others. As netizens mourned the unfortunate death of Ansari, ‘Bharat Yadav’ was also trending on Twitter. Here is why:

On 18th May, following an argument of lass-shop owners with a burqa-clad woman, the women allegedly led an agitated Muslim mob in Mathura. The mob indulged in brutally thrashing the lassi shop owners while addressing them ‘Kaafir’, a pejorative reference to non-Muslims. Pankaj Yadav and Bharat Yadav, the two brothers who were managing the shop at that time were severely injured in the attack. Though the brothers were taken for dressing their external wounds, the elder brother Bharat sustained internal injuries and within a week’s time on May 24, his health deteriorated and on the following day, he died. The post-mortem revealed that Bharat’s brain and nerves were damaged in the attack.

Pankaj had identified two main accused, Haneef and Shahrukh, for ransacking his shop and has affirmed of identifying them if produced before him. The FIR registered by the police has booked Sharukh, Haneef and others under Section 395(dacoity) while not mentioning the violence meted out by them.

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A case under IPC section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religions or religious beliefs) was not registered in this case despite the fact that Bharat Yadav was referred to as ‘kaafir’.

In another incident we reported yesterday, on Wednesday, 19 June in Dilari, Uttar Pradesh, a 54-year-old Gangaram was beaten up and killed by a Muslim mob after he had complained to the police about his daughter’s abduction.

While Tabrez’ unfortunate death gets editorial space across mainstream media and primetime debates are carried out on the same, Bharat Yadav’s lynching and hateful slurs are forgotten.

Just as beating up someone from another faith and forcing them to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’ is wrong and should be punishable so is beating up someone and calling them ‘kaafirs’. However, the so-called hate-crime trackers only consider one of them as a ‘hate crime’. In case of Bharat Yadav, a case has not been filed under IPC section 295A because perhaps being called ‘kaafir’ a term used to refer to someone who doesn’t believe in Islam, and beating him to death is not communal enough.

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