May 29, 2024
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Muslims in fear, after attacks on mosque in India’s Gurugram

Muslims in fear, after attacks on mosque in India’s Gurugram

With elections coming up in the coming year, there is a chance that there will be more unrest due to the fact that the government BJP is being criticized over its alleged lack of action

An imam was shot and stabbed to death in a mosque which was then smouldering until the floor. A young doctor who was returning home, was snatched by a mob of armed men who attacked and molest her. A railway official, while embarking on a train, searched the carriages in search of his targets and killed three men. The events, which occurred within India during the week appeared to be unrelated however the victims were linked by one thing in common: They were Muslim.

Since the current government, the Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) was elected in 2014, headed by the prime minister Narendra Modi instances of violent acts of religion against the Muslim minorities, which represent approximately one-fourth of country’s population are more frequent.

Hardline vigilante Hindu right-wing groups, bolstered by the Modi regime has carried out a steady persecuting and lynchings of Muslims and have held an increasing number of marches and rallies that promote anti-Muslim hate speech as well as violent calls to genocidal violence. In states controlled by the BJP, Muslims have been described as “intruders”, faced discriminatory policies, and even had their homes destroyed.

However in the midst of India is preparing for an election in the year ahead, with Modi predicted to be re-elected for a third time there is a fear that these flare-ups of violence are likely to increase because the desire for elections causes further divisions in society into religious divides. Modi has remained in a secluded position regarding the events of this week.

India has suffered a spate of anti-Muslim attacks

India has suffered a spate of anti Muslim attacks 1
Credit: Guardian graphic

“Since this government came into power for a second time in 2019, this kind of violence has accelerated noticeably,” said Neera Chandhoke who is a fellow in the Centre for Equity Studies in Delhi. “I’m concerned about the changes going on in our country. My concern is that, when we are closer to the election, we will see more of these events, there will result in more funeral pyres and burial sites.”

On Friday, when she was returning to work, 23-year old Zarin Khan who is a physical therapist in Madhya Pradesh, a BJP-ruled state, was taken to hospital after being set by a group comprised of 4 Hindu men. According to the account of her, they started beating her, and then slapping her with iron rods. They tore off her hijab, sexually assaulting her and hurling religious slurs at her. After she begged for help, they laughed and said to them: “You can’t do anything, the administration is ours.”

On Monday, named Modi along with Yogi Adityanath who is who is a hardline Hindu monk, who’s an BJP Chief Minister, who were slammed by a railway official, Chetan Singh, as the latter was accused of what some have described as an act of hatred. When Singh took the train headed towards Mumbai He first shot his supervisor, and then walked through the carriages, and picked out three Muslim men, their faith evident through their beards and names, and killed them.

“They operate from Pakistan,” Singh is seen saying in a clip published of the incident. standing over the bloody corpse of 48 year-old Mohammad Asgar, a bangle-maker who was on the move to find employment. “If you want to live in India, you must vote for Modi and Yogi.”

For Asgar’s brother Mohammad Sanaullah, 36, the murder was beyond understanding. “It is clear that he was attacked because he was Muslim,” the man said. “If my brother could be killed in this manner how do I feel secure? What will make a Muslim feel secure? It is possible to stop this should the government want to. But will they stop it? I doubt it.”

The same kind of grief was felt by the 25-year-old Shadab Anwar, 25, who was a victim of the same grief. On Monday night his brother Mohammad Saad, 22, an imam, was slain in the mosque in Gurgaon, a city that is a satellite of Delhi in India, by a right-wing Hindu crowd of more than 100 people. The police were watching on the mosque during the incident but the assault on the cleric’s young son was clearly brutal According to Anwar who later saw the body.

“He was attacked brutally,” Anwar claimed. Anwar. “His chest was ripped open. There were numerous gunshot wounds and deep cuts which were probably caused by knives. Even his hands had suffered cuts.”

Anwar had talked to his brother just a half an hour prior to the incident and Saad told him he was safe due to the security provided by the police at the mosque. At midnight, the power was cut, and it wasn’t long after, the mob swarmed into the mosque.

The killers killed Saad and wounded two other people with a heavy gunshot, injuring them. Four Hindu men were arrested for the murder. “Where and how will we feel safe?” Anwar asked. Anwar. “This all happened in an urban area, near India’s capital, and in the presence of police.”

The mosque, which is one of the only places for Muslims to gather within the metropolis, had been degraded to blackened rubble. However, the mosque’s manager Mohammad Aslam Khan, 58 told reporters he was unable go back to inspect the extent of the damage. “I am too afraid,” declared Khan.

This attack against the mosque as well as Muslim businesses was believed as a retribution for a previous incident that took place earlier that day, following an annual rally, which was organized by the far-right hardline Hindu group Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) that has ties to the BJP through the majority Muslim district of Nuh was met with violence by Muslims.

The state government, which is run by the BJP has since come under criticism for allowing the protest to be held. According to reports that the march was amidst the city, weapons included guns were displayed and anti-Muslim messages were shouted by an VHP cadre. In response, a huge number composed of Muslims were seen throwing stone and lighting vehicles to halt the march. Several had come together after news broke on social media about a well-known Hindu right-wing leader, who has been accused of murdering 2 Muslim males in the month of February, and then burning the bodies of their victims, was in attendance.

The violence quickly escalated into full-on violence and three mosques were vandalized and two home security officers killed. There was no violence at the Hindu church in town remained unaffected.

In a speech delivered by Surendra Jain, the VHP general secretary Surendra Jain, prior to when the rally began, and later video recorded the area is “Hindu land” and referred to Muslims in various ways, including “cow slaughterers”, “Hindu murderers”, “Bangladeshi intruders” and Pakistani spying. He added: “Hindus will not rest in peace, nor let anyone rest in peace till victory is achieved.”

Sandeep Singh, 35, was one of the non-Muslims living in Nuh who claimed they have always been peaceful with their Muslim neighbors and claimed the march was an attempt to provoke people from outside.

“They came here in the name of a rally but it seemed like they were provoking the Muslims,” said the man. “When I noticed the mob advancing including a number of swords and others with guns I ran inside my home. There was a lot of firing and chaos out in the street.” He also said that the police said were walking right behind the VHP mob when the violence started.

According to local media, chief of the police Narendra Bijarniya told local media: “We never imagined such large-scale violence would occur. There were flaws and that’s why it happened.”

VHP leadership has denied that they were behind any violent acts. According to BJP the chief minister for Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar the violence was an act of “big conspiracy” by those who planned to attack the VHP marches. In the towns around the area families reported that hundreds of young Muslim men were taken and taken away from homes the police and hundreds of homes belonging to largely poor migrants Muslim families were razed by the state authorities on Thursday, apparently for “encroaching on government land”.

Following the incident police struggled to manage the tensions. Through social networks, Hindu left-leaning leaders made a call to provoke further violence in Muslim cities. In one nearby village, Manesar, VHP leaders held an assembly where it’s reported that they demanded Muslims to “leave as soon as possible”.

The violence soon spread into Gurgaon which is both a glistening multinational tech hub as well as an epicenter of militant Hindu nationalist political stances in which Muslims have been subject to constant harassment regarding their right to worship outside.

In addition to in the mosque Muslim establishments, restaurants and houses were destroyed. the migrant Muslim families who resided in Gurgaon were reportedly intimidated by mobs and ordered not to return as soon as possible and some were even denied work.

“Many Muslims working in the area have been told to not come to work,” said Mohammad Saleem, 45, who is a worker migrant of Bihar located within Gurgaon. “The owner of the shop is afraid to hire me right now. Even my wife was advised not to report for work. A hostile environment is being created.”

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