• In Depth


    It has been over a year since Ghulam Ahmad was killed in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh. His family believes that he was killed simply for being a Muslim. His family has faced intimidation, harassment and threats. However, they continue to fight for justice. Ahmad’s killing is one of the many alleged hate crimes taking place in India.

    60-year-old Ghulam Ahmad was a Muslim resident of Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, India. On 2 May 2017, when he went to the fields near his house, he was severely assaulted allegedly by members of a hardline Hindu group, ‘Hindu Yuva Vahini’. A fatally wounded Ahmad called his sons for help. They rushed to the scene but were unable to save their father. He died on the way to the hospital.

    Following the attack on Ahmad, the perpetrators went to his house and intimidated, assaulted, and sexually harassed three women from Ahmad’s family.

    Why was Ghulam Ahmad attacked?

    On 27 April 2017, a local Muslim man and a Hindu woman belonging to a dominant caste eloped from Ahmad’s village in Bulandshahr. Ahmad’s family was the most prominent of the three Muslim families in the village. According to his family, soon after the couple eloped, members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini began repeatedly harassing and intimidating them to locate the whereabouts of the couple. The family of the Muslim man who eloped soon fled from the village. Ahmad’s family had no connection to the elopement. However, the Hindu group put immense pressure on them to find the young couple simply because the man who eloped happened to also be Muslim. Vakil Ahmad, the son of Ghulam Ahmad said, “We asked them, we are not related in any way to the other man who eloped, so why were they harassing us? They said that it was because we were also Muslims.”

    The family had approached the police for protection, but there was no action by the authorities. The police did not even file an FIR to address the intimidation faced. On 2 May 2017, following the attack on Ahmad that led to his death, the family filed a complaint and the police registered an FIR. The alleged perpetrators were arrested and eventually released on bail.

    However, the family continued to receive threats from the perpetrators. In June 2017, the family approached the local police station with a written complaint for protection but once again, no action was taken and no FIR was filed. The family also faced a social boycott in the village, which affected their lives and livelihoods. They were forced to live in extreme poverty because they could not find work in the village. Fearing for the safety of their children, they stopped sending them to school. After nine months of living in fear, without any protection from the police, the family was forced to flee from the village.

    Currently, Ghulam Ahmad’s case is being heard in the Bulandshahr district court. The family continues to struggle to make ends meet and have received no compensation from the government. Ghulam Ahmad’s killing was allegedly a hate crime. Across India, hundreds of victims of alleged hate crimes face hurdles in accessing justice.

    Act now to help Ghulam Ahmad’s family and many others like them secure justice.


    Project conceptualised by Amnesty International India and the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology
    Research provided by Amnesty International India
    Designed, created and built at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology