07:42 GMT25 July 2021
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    Addressing an event organised by the RSS minority wing, Muslim Rashtriya Manch, Mohan Bhagwat said: "If a Hindu says that no Muslim should live in the country, then he is not a Hindu. The cow is a holy animal but the people who are lynching others are going against Hinduism. The law should take its own course against them without any partiality".

    A prominent Muslim politician Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday slammed Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent body of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over his remarks on mob lynching.

    Owaisi, the chief of the political party All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), alleged that hatred against the Muslim community emanates from Hinduism and those propagating such hatred have the support of the federal government.

    Tweeting the names of the victims of mob lynching, the AIMIM chief said: "RSS Chief Bhagwat said 'lynchers are anti-Hindu'. These perpetrators don't know the difference between a cow and a buffalo but (Muslim) names like Junaid, Akhlaq, Pehlu, Rakbar, Alimuddin were enough to kill them. This hatred is because of Hinduism. These criminals are being protected by the pro-Hindu government".

    He also said that Alimuddin's killers had been congratulated by a federal minister, that Akhlaq's killer had been given a national honour, and a "Mahapanchayat" convened in support of those who killed Asif where a BJP spokesperson asked: "Can't we murder someone?"

    ​A "Mahapanchayat" is a congregation of people from several neighbouring areas, led by local leaders in rural areas.

    Fifty-two-year-old Mohammed Akhlaq, a resident of Dadri in the state of Uttar Pradesh, was killed by a mob of villagers in 2015 over suspicions of slaughtering a cow.

    In 2018, Junaid Khan, a 15-year-old boy, his brother, and two cousins were attacked in a train over allegations that they hurled communal slurs. Junaid was stabbed to death. Rameshwar Dass, a health inspector in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and five others were booked in the case.

    A dairy farmer from the state of Haryana, Pehlu Khan, was attacked and murdered by a group of 200 so-called cow vigilantes affiliated with Hindutva groups in the Alwar district of Rajasthan in 2018.

    Another Muslim, Rakbar Khan, was killed in July 2018, when he and his friend Aslam Khan were brutally attacked by a mob while they were transporting milk cows on foot to their home in Haryana's Kolgaon region from a village in the Alwar district.

    Alimuddin Ansari was lynched near the village of Bajartand in the state of Jharkhand in 2017 by a mob that suspected him of carrying beef.

    Asif, a 27-year-old gym trainer and resident of the village of Khalilpur Kheda in Haryana, was lynched by a group of people on 16 May 2021.

    In his last tweet of the series, the Muslim leader said: "Cowardice, violence, and murder are an integral part of Godse's [Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi] Hinduism thought process and the lynching of Muslims is the result of such thinking".

    The statement came as RSS Chief Bhagwat also stated that the DNA of all Indians is the same and that those indulging in lynching are against Hindutva.

    Noting that India's development is impossible without unity, the Hindu nationalist organisation chief also said that the basis of unity should be nationalism and the glory of one's ancestors.

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