‘Not In My Name’: Thousands pledge to march for teenager Junaid and against ‘targeted lynchings’

“If not now, then when? A Facebook post by filmmaker Saba Dewan against the lynching of a Muslim teenager has led to protest marches being planned in five cities.

NEW DELHI: A Facebook post by a filmmaker against the killing of a 16-year-old has led to an online campaign, with protest marches being organised in five cities across the country.

Thousands have pledged to hit the streets this week in support of the campaign, entitled “Not In My Name” on June 28.

The protest is the brainchild of documentary filmmaker Saba Dewan.  “I simply created an event on Facebook,” she said. “A lot of like-minded people have joined us now,” said the filmmaker.

Protests will be held in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru simultaneously on Wednesday, Saba.

The family of 16-year-old Hafiz Junaid, on June 23 was stabbed to death by a mob in a Mathura-bound train, will also be invited to join the demonstration, Ms Dewan said. A group of men abused Junaid and his brothers – Hashim, Moin and Sakir in the train and attacked them after an altercation, allegedly over seats.

She added that the protests reflected the “anger and grief” of the people.

“I never realised the response would be so overwhelming. Despite the debilitating violence, these protests will make us feel we are alive and spark hope,” Ms Dewan told PTI.

The campaign sought to “reclaim the Constitution” and “resist the onslaught” on the right to life and equality, the Gurugram-based documentary filmmaker said.

The protest in Delhi will be held at the Jantar Mantar at around 6 pm.

An image designed by graphic artist Orijit Sen featuring the message “Not In My Name” is being shared by hundreds on social media sites along with an appeal to join the protest.

“Please carry banners with the slogan – NOT IN MY NAME. This is a citizens’ protest open to all. Everyone is welcome but without party or organisational banners,” the invite reads.

It all started on 24 June with Dewan’s post calling for protests against the spate of lynchings that have taken place in different parts of the country in recent weeks, the latest being the murderous attack on Junaid on 22 June.

“If not now, then when? Why wait for political formations to organize a demonstration? Why can’t all of us as citizens repulsed by the violence get together in protest at the earliest next week at Jantar Mantar under the banner Not in my Name,” it said.