AFP / File / SAJJAD HUSSAIN
Attacks against Muslims by Hindu Vigilant in India Have Spiked in Recent Months
Indian police on Thursday arrested a Hindu man over the murder of a Muslim laborer after identifying him from a brutal killing that went viral and has sparked outrage. The footage shows a man hitting plowing Afrazul Khan with a pickaxe and a machete before pouring kerosene over his body and setting it alight.
Afterwards the attacker can be heard against so-called “love jihad”, a term used by religious radicals in India to accuse Muslims of marrying Hindu women in order to convert them. The destruction occurred in western Rajasthan state, which shows a series of vigilante attacks on Muslims in recent months. Most of the attacks on the transporting of cows, which so-called “cow protection” groups who roam highways inspecting livestock trucks. The state’s chief O. P. Galhotra told reporters the suspect had been charged with murder, calling it a “brutal crime”. Police also detained the suspect’s 14-year-old nephew, who they say recorded the killing. Religious conversion has become a flashpoint issue for Hindu nationalists in recent years. Last month, thousands of copies of a controversial booklet were distributed to students in Rajasthan warning Hindu girls of “love jihad”. In April a 20-year-old Muslim man was lynched in eastern Jharkhand state for a Hindu woman. Critics say vigilante have been emboldened since the election of the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party in 2014.

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