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Facebook post triggers anti-lynching protests in India

FACEBOOK POST TRIGGERS ANTI-LYNCHING PROTESTS IN INDIA

A Facebook campaign triggered protests in several cities of India on Wednesday, when citizens gathered to protest rising incidents of mob violence on Muslims and Dalits-also called the Untouchables.

Thousands gathered in cities including the capital New Delhi and Mumbai under the campaign #NotInMyName started by filmmaker Saba Dewan.

The campaign began through a Facebook post on Saturday, in which Dewan wrote about a Muslim teenager who was killed last week while returning from Eid shopping.

A mob stabbed to death 16-year-old Junaid Khan on a train to Mathura from Delhi, accusing him of carrying bags full of beef.

"It is important for us to protest this targeted violence against Muslims and Dalits that we are witnessing in our country at this moment," said Dewan, who mobilized people all over India through her campaign.

The protests were attended by people from all walks of life, including youngsters who expressed their displeasure over growing intolerance in India.

"They just want to divide the country in the name of religion. It is necessary for an ordinary Indian citizen just like us to stand against these people," said Deepak, who came from northern India's Haryana state to attend the protest.

During Eid al-Fitr prayers on Monday, Muslims in India wore black armbands to protest against recent lynchings allegedly by members of right-wing Hindu groups.

Meanwhile, social activist Shabnam Hashmi returned her 2008 award conferred to her by the state-run National Commission for Minorities, to protest against the recent lynching of Muslims in the country.

"I return the National Minority Rights Award, which has lost all its credibility, in protest against the consistent attacks and killings of the members of the minority communities and total inaction, apathy and tacit support to the violent gangs by the government," Hashmi said in a letter to the commission.

Hindus in India consider cow as a sacred animal and slaughtering it is banned in many states.

Many Muslims in India have been assaulted and killed in cow-related violence in recent years.

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