A group of more than 50 people assembled in United States’ Greater Boston and Chicago areas on Saturday to protest against the “unabated pace of mob lynchings and the growing threat to human rights of citizens in India”.

The protestors called for justice for the victims and their families and also appealed for immediate public action to curb hate crimes against minorities in India, the group said in a statement. People of Indian, South Asian and American origin, as well as representatives from various organisations took part in the protest.

“We, the concerned citizens of India and of Indian origin living in US condemn such lackadaisical attitude of the government towards mobocracy and therefore, encouraging Law of Jungle and demand that the country be saved from falling into a dark era where mobocracy takes over,” the group said. The protestors from the Greater Boston area assembled at Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Protestors held posters and banners, voicing their outrage and grief over the incidents of violence. One poster read, “Punish criminal political patronage to lynching”, while another listed the names of victims of mob lynching and said: “Akhlaq, Pehlu, Afrazul, Junaid...Tabrez. Stop before it is you”.

“It is a matter of grave concern for all people to raise their voices against this attack on Right To Be of a section of people and individuals,” said Jaspal Singh, a resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who participated in the protest. “It is an attack on all people and is a form of state terrorism carried out by the ruling elite to attack, divert and divide people, who are struggling hard to find solutions to basic problems such as food, water, shelter, safety and security which are caused by the rule and plunder of a handful few. We must not let this pass.”

One of the protestors read out a poem, written in memory of 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari, a Muslim man who died in Jharkhand last week after being assaulted by a mob. The poem also highlighted how Hindu deity Ram’s name is being used to spread fear and hatred. University students, doctors, scientists, workers, teachers, and several others were part of the gathering in the famous Harvard Square.

The group also pointed out that 175 major assaults have occurred between 2012 and 2019 due to cow-related violence, causing 47 deaths, according to IndiaSpend’s hate crime database.

“No civilised society accepts mob lynchings,” said Vinay Vikas, a biotech professional from Waltham, Massachusetts. “And India with one of the world’s ancient civilisations, a history of tolerance and adapting a secular constitution cannot afford to take the path of hate in the name of religion to reach its goal of becoming a world leader.”