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Stray incidents against Muslims continue unabated after Haldwani violence, political, social and civic groups protest

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Stray incidents against Muslims continue unabated after Haldwani violence, political, social and civic groups protest


Dehradun, Feb 27

After the Haldwani violence in Banphoolpura area in which seven persons were killed in police firing following the demolition of a mosque and a ‘madrassa’, the cases of targeting of minority Muslim community by ‘Hindutva’  groups continues unabated in the state of Uttarakhand.

While, in Haldwani town there was no communal clash on February 8, 2024 as the clash erupted between the local members of the minority community and civic and police personnel, ‘Hindutva’ goons since then had been issuing open threats to the Muslim shopkeepers in the Hindu majority Kamluaganj till Kathghariay area of Haldwani town. They are allegedly being threatened not to open their establishments and forcible evictions. The Muslim shopkeepers who are tenants are being pressurised to vacate.

In a similar incident in capital city of Dehradun on February 22, a group of ‘Hindutva’ activists attacked a private residence of a Muslim in Gobindgarh area. The Muslim was erecting a tin shed on the roof of his house when the goons attacked. They stoned his house charging that he was erecting the tin shed for offering ‘Namaz’ on the roof of his house. A ruckus was created and the tin shed on the house was razed in the presence of police and officials. Interestingly, no action was taken against the alleged culprits.

A delegation of the ‘Quami Ekta Manch’, comprising several political, social and civil rights groups submitted a memorandum to SP City, Haldwani addressed to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nainital on Monday seeking action against elements who are out to create communal disturbances in the city. The delegation sought safety for the shopkeepers belonging to the minority community. The police officials assured action at Haldwani.

The delegation charged that after the Banphoolpura violence on February 8, 2024, some Hindutva elements are threatening and intimidating Muslim shopkeepers in Hindu majority areas of Kamluaganj till Kathghariay area of Haldwani town by attacking them, taking out processions raising provocative slogans and even indulging in arson. The Muslims are threatened against opening their establishments and their landlords are being pressurised to get these shops and homes from Muslims vacated.

The delegation pointed out that police had intervened in many such incidents of vandalism against minorities and still deployed in many areas. One of the shops spinning cotton for beddings was also set ablaze. The delegation pointed out that the name of an office bearer of ruling Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of ruling BJP and RSS has come in all these provocative incidents. They asked that why no action has been taken against such a person by the police. They further said that the same person was also allegedly involved in creating communal tension last year on the frivolous charges of unnatural sex allegedly by a Muslim youth.

They sought action against all such elements and security to the Muslim shopkeepers and their landlords for maintaining communal harmony. The delegation at Haldwani comprised Prof. Uma Bhatt, district secretary of CPI(ML) Kailash Pandey, Basanti Pathak of Uttarakhand Mahila Manch, Islam Hussain of Uttarakhand sarvodaya Mandal, trade union leader k.K.Bora, Manoj pandey of janwadi lok manch, Rohit of Inqualabi Mazdoor Kendra, Bindu Gupta of Pragatisheel Mahila Ekta Kendra , Mohd. Sajid and Riayasat Ali of Jamaat-e-Islami and affected shopkeepers.

A delegation of political, social and civil right groups protesting in front of the office of Dehradun District Magistrate against targetting of Muslims and establishment of ‘Rule of Law’ in the state.

Meanwhile, in Dehradun also a delegation of the various political parties and social groups submitted a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner through the District Election Officer on February 24, 2024 pointing towards the unabated incidents to inflame communal tensions throughout the length and breadth of the state with ulterior political motives.

The delegation members said that every citizen of the country enjoys the right to religion and fundamental freedom as enshrined in Article 25 to 28 of the Constitution. They further said that ‘Hindutva’ elements took out a procession and publicly recited ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ at clock tower before attacking Muslim who was praying in the four walls of his home in Gobindgarh area of the city on February 22. The memorandum sought strict action against such goons and establishment of ‘rule of law’ in the state.

The delegation comprise Atul Sharma of Samajwadi Party, Anant Akash of CPM, Trilochan Bhatt of Insaniyat Manch, Azam Khan of Bhim Army, Lekhraj of AITU, Ashok Sharma of CPI, Jaikrit Kandwal of People’s Forum and Harjinder Singh of JD (S) amongst others.

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