Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Attacked in 2014, city beef trader secures refugee status in Canada

The man, whose identity has not been revealed, worked in the family’s meat business since 1998, and was attacked in 2014 by 10 unknown persons, who he alleges belonged to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). A few days later his residence was also attacked.


A Mumbai man, who used to be a part of the beef slaughter industry and was allegedly persecuted for it, has gained refugee status in Canada. A court in Montreal ruled that the man “has a subjective fear of persecution in India as a Muslim and as someone who was involved in the beef slaughter industry”.The judgment by the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), sets a precedent for a possible flood of similar applications that could reach Western shores, and in particular Canada.


The man, whose identity has not been revealed, worked in the family’s meat business since 1998, and was attacked in 2014 by 10 unknown persons, who he alleges belonged to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). A few days later his residence was also attacked.


In his application, he mentions that the local police station ignored his complaint, and his attempt to approach a court in Andheri did not yield any result. He then tried to open a shop in Pune which did not materialise as he faced fresh threats from Hindutva groups.


The beef ban in Maharashtra came into place in March 2015. The same year, he left India for France where he stayed for more than a year, but was unable to get a residence permit. He did not make a refugee claim in France on the advice of his lawyer, and moved to Canada in 2016.

In January 2017, his refugee claim was first rejected by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), which said that there were inconsistencies in the evidence provided by him and that he had failed to establish that he faced a risk of harm in India.

The RPD is the tribunal branch of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board that adjudicates on refugee and asylum applications. The Mumbai man appealed the RPD’s decision claiming that it focussed on minor inconsistencies in rejecting his application.

The appeal was taken up by RAD and in September 2018, the tribunal solicited his views regarding a possible relocation to other cities within India, specifically mentioning Kolkata and Bangalore. Even in UK, courts often decline applications for asylum on the grounds that the applicants can move to a new city or region in order to escape possible persecution or harm by oppressive family members or organisations as India is a huge country.

To counter this, RAD was provided reports in the Indian and international media highlighting the growing violence and sense of insecurity among meat traders across India.

Along with other studies and reports, the RAD assessed the media reports as credible. The RAD also found that the appellant “testified without any significant omissions, contradictions, or inconsistencies in his testimony” and “did not exaggerate any elements of his claim”.

This latest judgment, dated 26 November 2018, opens the gate for asylum applications citing threat and violence by cow vigilante and Hindu majoritarian groups. So far, the bulk of asylum applications from Indians in US, UK, Canada, and Europe have been made by Sikhs in the wake of the violence in 1984. 

An increasing number of cases have reached tribunals in these countries from Indians claiming asylum on allegations that they face discrimination due to their sexual preferences. But if this latest case is any indication, there may well be an increase in asylum applications from other ‘persecuted minorities’--Mumbai Mirror. 





No comments:

Post a Comment

Find the post useful/interesting? Share it by clicking the buttons below