Pune: A ‘Not In My Name’ protest rally, decrying attacks on Muslims and Dalits by gaurakshaks (cow vigilantes) on suspicion of possessing beef, was held on Friday afternoon in Bopodi, from Jama Masjid to the Mumbai-Pune highway.
A human chain was formed along the highway by participants wearing black bands and carrying banners. The three demands raised during the rally were that gaurakshaks responsible for attacks against Dalits and Muslims should be prosecuted under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), families of victims of these attacks should be given Rs 1 crore compensation and Muslims, as a minority community, should be protected under the Atrocities Act.
Around 2,000 people from various religious backgrounds participated in the rally. Congress worker Manish Anand, Republican Party vice-chairman GS Gaikwad, former corporator Anand Chajjed, activist Vaishali Gaikwad, Lokayat member Tushar Bhotmange, corporators Avinash Bagwe and Sunita Wadekar and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) members Sunil Thorat and Satyawan Gaikwad were present.
Rashtrapremi Kruti Samiti organised the rally. A second protest rally has been planned on July 15 at Kausar Baugh in Kondhwa by a coalition of various like-minded groups, including the Rashtrapremi Kruti Samiti, also known as Kul Jamat-i-Tanzeem.
Samiti chairman Anjum Inamdar said following this rally, a state-wide meet will be held to demand bringing Muslims under the ambit of the Anti-Atrocity Act or a similar legislation. An agitation to press for this demand is proposed to be launched from Pune. ‘Not In My Name’ rallies are being taken out across the country following the stabbing of 16-year-old Junaid Khan onboard the Mathura-Delhi Express on June 22.