Mob lynching, security takes centrestage in Muslim-majority Mewat

In the Muslim-majority Mewat region, concern over incidents of mob lynching and security of the community appears to be the dominant issue in the political discourse, with a section asserting that it was a matter of priority.

The lynching cases of Pehlu Khan and Junaid have become a regular feature in the speeches during opposition rallies for the October 21 Haryana assembly election.

The Nuh Assembly seat in the Mewat region is witnessing an interesting contest with the BJP fielding Zakir Hussain, who won in the 2014 assembly elections on an INLD ticket, and joined the BJP in June.

He is being attacked by the Congress for "betraying" Muslims by switching over to the BJP and not taking up the issue of mob lynching and security of the people.

At a rally here on Monday before Congress leader Rahul Gandhi arrived, the party's Punhana candidate Mohammad Ilyas hit out at Hussain and even gestured with a shoe in his hand on the dias, saying people will give the boot to those who stand with "supporters of lynching".

Congress candidate from Nuh Aftab Ahmed said, "We have stayed in the country on the assurance of Mahatma Gandhi. We will not let Godse succeed as the country is ours too."

Sabir Ali, a Congress supporter, told reporters that security is the most important issue for the people of this district.

"People are saddened by incidents of lynching. This is an election issue and people in the area will vote keeping this in mind. Economy and developmental issues are important, but they will matter only if one is alive," he said.

BJP supporter Irfan Ali, however, said development was the major issue and Mewat will vote for the ruling party keeping this in mind.

The Gurgaon-Alwar railway line, making Nuh engineering college a university, expansion of a local lake and the Mewat canal are some of the developmental issues high on the people's agenda.

Pehlu Khan was lynched in Rajasthan by an alleged cow vigilante group on suspicion of cow smuggling.

Junaid was stabbed to death in a scuffle while travelling between Okhla and Ballabgarh railway stations.

The Mewat region has three seats -- Nuh, Punhana and Ferozepur Jhirka.