A protest was organized by DYFI-SFI-AIDWA (Democratic Youth Federation of India-Students’ Federation of India- All India Democratic Women’s Association), AISF (All India Secular Forum), Communalism Combat, Minorities Federation, Jan Sanskriti Manch and NAPM (National Alliance for People’s Movement) at Azad Maidan on June 5, 2014 against the gruesome killing of the innocent, visibly Muslim 28 year old IT professional, Shaikh Mohsin Sadiq, by a group of people allegedly belonging to the radical Hindu outfit called Hindu Rashtra Sena.
The protest witnessed around 70 activists, journalists, academics, lawyers etc along with a strong media presence. The protestors included a diverse group of men and women- Hindus, Muslims and a few Sikhs.
Though police permission had been denied, the groups concerned went ahead with the protest, given that the right to peacefully protest is constitutionally guaranteed to every citizen.
The idea behind the protest was to see the youth’s murder in the context of the threat that is increasingly being posed to the secular spirit of the nation. One cannot help but see the murder of the youth as a component of the larger hate propaganda of the communal forces in the country.
Though it initially appeared that the police may arrest the protestors, no such thing happened and the protest was peacefully carried out. In that sense then, the protest also became a comment on the increasingly shrinking space and freedom to protest and the ways in which the State seems to be curbing the democratic ethos that India stands for.