Braving monsoon rains, thousands of people across India took to the streets Wednesday night to protest against what they claim is a rise in mob violence aimed at minority groups.
Dubbed #NotInMyName, the coordinated demonstrations saw events held in more than 12 major Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
The protests follow the high-profile killing of a Muslim teen in an allegedly Islamophobic attack in the state of Haryana, northern India, Friday.
The teenager’s death is the latest in a string of violent mob attacks to have gripped India, with many alleging it is the country’s minorities — Muslims, lower-castes and Christians — who are disproportionally targeted.
“The environment right now is not normal, after seeing all these incidents, I don’t feel like anyone is safe,” said Sibghatullah, who uses only one name, at the Delhi protest Wednesday. “If a crowd sees a man with a hat and a beard, they assume he’s a terrorist.”
Hinduism is India’s dominant religion, according to census data, with 828 million followers or 80.5% of the population. Muslims make up 13%; Christians 2.3%.