Udaipur Killing: Normalisation Of Public Execution To ‘Avenge’ Has Cleaved Nation’s Symmetry

Two men killed a local tailor in Rajasthan’s Udaipur over the latter’s support for the former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on social media. The killers, identified as Ghouse Mohammed and Riyaz Attari, filmed the incident as they attempted to behead the tailor, Kanhaiya Kumar, with a cleaver. Sharma sparked global outrage with her remarks about the Prophet Mohammed. Posting videos online, the killers said brandishing swords that they have avenged the insult to Islam, also threatened to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Condemning the incident, AIMIM chief Asaddudin Owaisi demanded Nupur Sharma’s arrest and slammed the Rajasthan Police for not taking strict action to prevent the killing.

“I strongly condemn the Udaipur incident…we hope the Rajasthan government takes strict action. Had the police been more alert, this wouldn’t have happened… Radicalisation is spreading… Nupur Sharma should be arrested; mere suspension was not enough,” Owaisi said as quoted by news agency ANI.

The chief of Rajasthan’s Ajmer shrine Zainul Abedin Ali Khan said no religion promotes violence against humanity and Indian Muslims would not support the “mindset of Talibanisation”. The All India Muslim Law Board has criticised the killing and called for strict punishment for the culprits.

Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Bengal Imams Association, Jamat-e-Islami Hind are among the other Islamic establishments that have condemned the incident.

Beheading, among other forms of violence to avenge religious vendetta, curtail dissent or exert power, has been recurring in the recent past. It gives the perpetrator a delusional justification in accomplishing the divine objective. There have been incidents in the past where beheading and public execution have been used as a tool to penalise those who were allegedly involved in wrongdoings.

French school teacher beheaded

An 18-year-old radical Islamist, in 2020, beheaded a French school teacher Samuel Paty for showing caricatures of Prophet Mohammed in his class. Paty’s identity was disclosed in a class debate on free expression where he showed caricatures of Prophet Mohammed that were earlier published by the infamous French newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The killing was associated with five minor students of Paty’s school. A student’s father had also been accused of posting videos on social media and calling for mobilising against the teacher. The rector of the Paris Grand Mosque condemned the killing.

Nigerian student beaten to death

A female student in Nigeria’s Sokoto was killed by fellow students over allegedly sharing “blasphemous” statements in a WhatsApp group. She was said to have composed audio containing blasphemous comments against Prophet Mohammed and it triggered anger among her Muslim colleagues.

The Sokoto sultanate council, a traditional state run by the caliphate, condemned the killing.

 17-year-old beheaded in Iran

In a case of ‘honor killing’, a 17-year-old female Mona Heydari was beheaded in broad daylight by her husband. The man committed the crime in a bid to exert his dominance and ‘set an example’ that he is the ‘man’. In a video, he was seen brandishing his teenage wife’s head and smiling.

These incidents of public executions act as a stimulus for radical minds to take up arms and act as the sole ‘defender of religion’, ‘saviour of manhood’ or the power-packed authority. The increased number of lynchings by different factions of mobs in the last couple of years has induced a sense of constant irk and fear among the people of this country.

As one of the accused in the Udaipur killing allegedly had links with the Pakistan-based radical body Dawat-e-Islami, it only exhibits their motives of spreading terror and not following any divine path.