World Bulletin / News Desk
The lives of peaceful Muslim community changed after the brutal killing of a Muslim IT manager earlier this June in Pune city in the central-western Maharashtra state, forever who are now petrified to step out of their home with beard and traditional attires which reflect their religious identity.
“We know that Mohsin got killed just because by his beard and skull cap he stood out as a Muslim. So, along with some of my Muslim friends, I have shaven off my beard. We are even going to mosque in jeans and t-shirts,” a 24-year-old young Muslim engineer from Pune, who did not want to be identified, told OnIslam.net over the phone.
“I do not want to be killed just for the reason that I follow Islam. I would rather camouflage myself as a non-Muslim.”
Activists from the right wing Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) was responsible for the murder of Mohsin Shaikh.
The 28-year-old IT manager, who worked in a private firm in Pune, was the responsible eldest son of the family and their sole breadwinner.
He was brutally beaten to death by angry HRS mobs wielding hockey sticks in protests that followed the uploading of derogatory photographs of Hindu warrior king Shivaji and right-wing politician Bal Thackeray on Facebook.
While police later confirmed that Mohsin was in no way involved with any of the allegedly anti-Hindu social media posts, his Muslim friend Riyaz, who was with him during the attack, said that the Hindu activists had been attacking the Muslims.
“I am sure that if they found me with beard skull-cap, they would have killed me that day.”
Ameen Haroon, another Muslim who was wounded in an HRS attack in Pune stated that Mohsin was targeted by Hindu men armed with iron rods, wooden bars and swords.
“That night I was returning home after my day’s work. Some Hindu men chased me as they were shouting ‘catch that man with beard and skull cap…hit him’. They caught and began hitting me. I asked them why they were beating me. But they went on beating me until I bled profusely and fell unconscious,” Haroon said.
“Perhaps they thought I was dead and they stopped hitting me…and my life was saved.”Last Mod: 20 Haziran 2014, 14:21