March 23, 2017

INDIA: Atheist Was Hacked To Death By A Group Of Muslim Youths Who Were "OFFENDED" That He Left Islam And Was Promoting Atheism Through Social Media And WhatsApp. ๐Ÿ˜ง๐Ÿ˜ 

Daily News and Analysis (DNA), India
written by G. Jagannath
Tuesday March 21, 2017

Three suspects Saddam Hussain, Shamsuddin and Jaffar, in the murder case of atheist A Farooq of Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam surrendered separately on Monday at the Judicial Magistrate Court in Coimbatore.

In an incident similar to the murders of Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and MM Kalburgi allegedly by Hindu fundamentalists for their atheistic and rationalist views, Farooq was murdered last Thursday in Coimbatore by Muslim youths for propagating atheism through social media and WhatsApp.

Farooq, who was a resident of Ukkadam, a Muslim-dominated area in Coimbatore, was reportedly murdered by a four-member gang and had deep cuts on his neck and abdomen.

One of the suspects, Saddam, who has criminal cases pending against him, is the brother-in-law of Bengaluru blast case accused Syed Mohamed Buhari alias Kitchan Buhari. A day after the murder, Arshath Meeran, a small-time real estate agent, surrendered in the court in connection with the murder. Police sources said that they have secured Akram and Muneef.

Coimbatore city police has formed four teams to nab the culprits. A senior police officer told DNA that Farooq, who was a scrap merchant by profession, was a long time member of DVK propagating atheism. He was very active on Facebook and was running a WhatsApp group as well.

His Whatsapp group named Allahu Murdhath which means 'one who moved out of Allah's path', has over 250 Muslims turned atheists as its members.

The accused who were also from Ukkadam and adjacent areas were opposed to the atheist view of Farooq, police said, adding that they had warned him against anti-Muslim activities and had asked him to stop propagating through the social media and WhatsApp.

"Moreover, Farooq's open declaration of raising his son and daughter as an atheist did not go down well the accused. He made it a point to take them to political event and dress them in black during festivals. But we suspect that posting a photo of his daughter in his WhatsApp group in February holding a placard with Periyar's slogan saying, "There is no god, there is no god, there is no god at all, provocated the murder," the officer who was investigating the murder said.

The investigator said the analysis of his facebook posts shows that he had been receiving threats for his ideology for quite some time. "For talking about atheism and rationalism, I look like an enemy for my friends, relatives and fellow traders. I wanted to tell them that I am an enemy to god, enemy to religion, enemy to caste and overall an enemy to superstition. But I am not an enemy to humanism," he had posted on his FB page on March 13.

On March 16, Farooq had left his home on a two-wheeler after receiving a call. When the police traced the mobile number, they found out that the SIM card was brought in the name of Thajuddin of Velur. Police said that on further inquiry it was found that one of the accused had brought the SIM card in the name of Thajuddin using the documents he gave for getting a loan. "This helped us in zero-in on the suspects," he said, noting that the SIM card was bought 15 days ago. All the accused are daily wage labourers and a resident of Ukkadam "So far we did not find links with any group. All these accused are highly radicalised Muslim youths," the officer said.

Farooq's mother Nabisha told a television channel that those who killed him were believers of Allah. "But Allah did not ask anyone to kill anybody. Allah only asked them to offer prayers. They have no right kill my son," she said, adding that Farooq was the only breadwinner of the family.

When asked about the similarities in the murders of the rationalists by Hindu fundamentalists in Maharashtra and Karnataka with Farooq's murder, DVK president Kolathur Mani said, "Maybe in the name of religion, these murderers are also fundamentalists like in the case of Kalburgi and others. Unlike Hindutva parties supporting the murderers of Kalburgi and others, Islamic groups in Tamil Nadu have condemned the murder." He expressed concern over the radicalisation of Muslim youths in Tamil Nadu.

All Jamaat Federation here condemned the Farooq's murder. "We will like to clarify that Islam is a way of life. In spite of being born in Islam, it is the individual's right on whether to practice the religion or not. Islam does not force anyone to follow it. It is disheartening to know that Farooq has been murdered under such circumstances. We will meet Farooq's family and will do the needful," said Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam secretary Umar.

The murder of an atheist has sent a shockwave in Tamil Nadu which was ruled by the Dravidian parties supposedly following the ideals of Rationalist leader Periyar EV Ramasamy.

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