Hindu man, 25, ‘lynched’ during alleged birthday party ‘hate crime’ stabbing

A Hindu man has been stabbed to death at a birthday party in what many outraged Indians are calling a hate crime.

Rinku Sharma, 25, died on Wednesday in Mangolapuri, Outer Delhi during an altercation allegedly involving four other men armed with knives.

Local media has reported that Rinku was "dragged from his home and lynched in front of his family", and there are also reports the killers may have followed him to hospital to continue the assault.

The details of what caused the argument remain unclear. However, the killing has sparked outrage on social media, with many denouncing the incident as a sectarian hate crime.

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Some Twitter users have claimed Rinku was attacked for raising money to renovate a Hindu temple.

Outer Delhi Police said yesterday the suspects had been arrested.

"All persons are known to each other and live in the same locality. Any other motive alluded to this incident is factually wrong," the force announced on Twitter.

However, some social media users have claimed the police are covering up a hate crime and claiming Rinku was attacked in his own home.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the murderers were "Islamist", claiming they had committed a sectarian crime.

One BJP supporter tweeted: "Rinku Sharma was the sole breadwinner of his family."

The hashtag #JusticeForRinkuSharma is trending on the social media platform, while a campaign has been launched to raise money for his family.

Some even used the hashtag "#HindusLivesMatter," referencing the Black Lives Matter movement that addressed racial discrimination in the US.

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut shared photographs of Rinku and the alleged murder weapon, adding: "Look at this young man and his innocent eyes full of devotion, faith and glowing dreams for his future.

"He did not insult anybody's god, his crime was he loved and worshipped his own Ram… This is secular India."

It is not the first time tensions between religious groups in India have boiled over into murder.

In 2002, Muslims were blamed for the killings of more than 1,000 Hindu pilgrims when a train was set on fire in Godhra, Gujarat.

Tensions between Hindus and Muslims increased further in 2019 when the government passed a law excluding Muslims from fast-tracking citizenship.

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