In the continuing fallout of the demonisation of Muslims following the Tablighi Jamat event, a dairy farmer in Punjab has complained that he has been unable to sell milk to the Verka dairy farmers cooperative in the state. In a video that has been widely circulated on social media, the dairy farmer who identifies himself as a Muslim gujjar man, accused the people at a government dairy associated with the Verka cooperative in a Punjab village of “ganging up against him”. The exact location where the video was shot is unknown.
“We are being viewed suspiciously in all of Punjab even though we have worked alongside others in all situations and never backed out,” the dairy farmer said. “But now, people are saying that they will not buy milk from a gujjar. We are being discriminated against and justice should be done.”
“The government is testing the Tablighi Jamaat people (who attended the Nizamuddin markaz event in New Delhi, a coronavirus hotspot),” he added, “but this does not mean that you should kill the livelihood of others. I have the same right as you to sell milk here, it is a government dairy.”
Other incidents of atrocities against Muslims in Punjab were also reported recently after the Tablighi Jamat event was popularised as a leading cause of coronavirus cases in India. In Hoshiarpur district, an 80-year-old woman was denied medicine at a chemist shop who said, “Sick Muslims spreading virus,” to her, The Wire reported.
Muslims from the Talwara block of the district were “abused, beaten, and chased away” to the Swan riverbed where they lived without food for days at a stretch. In the Hindu majority villages of the Hajipur and Talwara blocks of Hoshiarpur district, hundreds of litres of milk to be sold by the Muslim gujjars were thrown into Swan river, another report by The Wire said.