Thousands of protesters took to the streets in major cities across India on Wednesday, June 28, to protest a series of mob killings targeting minorities that have occurred in the country in recent years. Gathering under the banner “Not In My Name,” protests took place in the cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, among others, to denounce violence perpetrated by right-wing Hindu nationalist groups and vigilantes from the cow protection movement. More protests are likely in the coming days.
The protests come a week after a Muslim teenager was stabbed to death on a train near Haryana after the assailants allegedly called him a “beef eater” and used other religious slurs.
The slaughter of cows is banned in many Indian states and can be punishable by up to ten years in prison. Indian parliament is considering legislation that would make the crime punishable by death in the country.
Since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014, the country has seen an increase in violence perpetrated by vigilante cow protection groups on Muslims and Dalits. A Muslim dairy farmer was killed by vigilantes in April 2017; no fewer than 11 men have been killed in similar incidents over the previous two years.
Individuals in India are advised to avoid all protests due to the possibility of escalation to violence. Monitor the situation and anticipate localized transportation delays in the event more protests occur.