In a shocking incident in Pune, a minor argument led to a brawl resulting in 12 people lynching a 26-year-old man, Sagar Markad to death in front of his wife and infant in the Mumbai-Latur-Bidar Express on Thursday.
According to Jyoti, the wife of the victim, the compartment was packed and since there was no place to sit, Sagar requested some women in the general compartment to make some space for his wife. The women, however, did not agree, and on the contrary, started arguing with Sagar.
The argument escalated and suddenly the women along with the men they were accompanied by started beating Sagar with sticks. Jyoti said that she cried for help but no one in the compartment dared to intervene.
Later, Jyoti got help from the Railway police when the train halted at the Daund Junction. Her husband Sagar was rushed to a nearby hospital wherein the doctors declared him brought dead.
According to Jyoti, the family was on their way to attend the last rights of a relative and she was travelling with her husband, mother and two-year-old daughter. Reportedly, the Railway Police at Daund Junction arrested 12 people, including seven women, in connection with the incident. One of the 12 arrested people is underage and has been sent to a juvenile home.
As soon as this heinous crime hit the media headlines, social media users were left distressed and aghast. As is the norm, a ghastly incident like this comes with its own set of rumours attached to it. The inherent distrust that people have developed on the media only fuels these speculations further.
As the outrage grew, a message became viral on WhatsApp that claimed that the victim Sagar was lynched by a mob of Muslims after he asked a “Burkha clad” woman to shift to make space for his wife. The viral message said that this lynching would not be outraged against since the perpetrators were Muslims.
While the assertions that the media and the ‘liberals’ refuse to outrage when the perpetrators are Muslims is true, in this case, the outrage is misplaced.
According to Lokmat, a popular newspaper in Maharashtra, the culprits who have been arrested for the lynching are Taibai Maruti Pawar (F30), Kalavati Dhondiba Chavhan (F65), Rupali Somnath Chavhan (F21), Ganesh Shivaji Chavhan (M24), Nikita Ashok Kale (F35), Jamuna Datta Kale (F20), Tai Hanumant Pawar (F35), Hanumant Ganpat Pawar (M30), Gangubai Namdev Kale (F40), Sonu Appa Kale (24) and a male juvenile have been apprehended by the police for questioning while one Somnath has escaped away.
The same names are also corroborated by Sakal, another popular newspaper from Maharashtra. OpIndia also reached out to the police who confirmed the names reported by Sakal and Lokmat.
By all accounts, the version of events that say that a Burkha clad’s woman’s family were responsible for lynching 26-year-old Sagar Markad is untrue. It is thereby also untrue that the perpetrators were Muslims and from local reports, the names of the perpetrators are not Muslim names.
These rumours are a testament to the growing mistrust between the people and the media that is supposed to bring the facts to the people. There have been several times when the names of Muslim perpetrators have been hidden from the people. One recalls when TheNewsMinute had replaced the name of a Muslim culprit with a Hindu name as a “representational name” sparking outrage. There have also been several incidents where the media used the word ‘Tantrik’, which essentially means a Hindu practitioner of Tantra Vidya, to describe Muslim Maulvis who murdered or abused their victims.