No 'Big' Riots in 5 Yrs? Contrary to Mukhtar Naqvi's Belief, Figures Had Crossed 800-Mark Back in 2017
An analysis of Home Ministry data in February 2018 revealed that communal violence under the NDA government had increased by 28% over three years, recording 822 incidents till 2017.
Representative image (Mir Suhail/News18.com)
New Delhi: Union minority affairs minister and a senior BJP leader had recently stated that there had been "no major" communal riots in the country and that India was in no need of a lynching law as most of the cases till now have been only criminal in nature. He has also stated that such incidents must not be looked at from a communal angle.
News18 in this piece looks at some of the communal riots, attacks and episodes that have taken place after the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janta Party government came to power.
An IndiaSpend analysis of Home Ministry data in February 2018 revealed that communal violence under the National Democratic Alliance government led by the BJP increased 28% over three years to 2017 — 822 “incidents” were recorded that year — but it was short of the decadal high of 943 in 2008.
According to the analysis, Uttar Pradesh (UP) — the most populous state in the country — reported most incidents (1,488) over the last decade. Kasganj in western UP witnessed communal violence on January 26, 2018, in which a 22-year-old Chandan Gupta was killed after being hit by a bullet.
Communal incidents in UP had increased 47% from 133 in 2014 to 195 in 2017. According to another 2017 Huffington Post report, India was ranked fourth in the world in 2015–after Syria, Nigeria and Iraq–for the highest social hostilities involving religion,.
As many as 7,484 communal incidents have been reported over the last decade–between 2008 and 2017–or two every day, killing over 1,100 people, according to data released to the Lok Sabha in February 2018.
Some of the lynching incidents that have rocked the nation and had fuelled the debate of bringing in a new law to tackle mob lynching:
January 19, 2019: 19 JAN, 2019- BHALAUT, ROHTAK, HARYANA
Man transporting buffalo was tied to pole, lynched by a mob and was then chained by the police after a mob of 15-20 villagers from Bhalaut alleged cow smuggling.
Beaten, bloodied and bruised by a mob of 15-20 villagers from Bhalaut, a southern Haryana town of 8,000 people, 24-year old Naushad Muhammad spent the night of January 19th, 2019 chained up in the local police station, on suspicion of ‘cow smuggling’.
January 2019: JAN, 2019- SAKLESHPUR, HASSAN, KARNATAKA
A Muslim woman in Karnataka’s Hassan district was attacked by eight men, and her makeshift canteen vandalised and set on fire, under the pretext that she was selling beef. The woman, Khamrunissa (70), has been selling food at the APMC market in Sakleshpur in Hassan district for 40 years. Eight men, allegedly belonging to the local Bajrang Dal unit, vandalised the canteen and “threw hot curry” on Khamrunissa. They then set the canteen on fire. The local Bajrang Dal unit claimed responsibility for the attack in a Facebook post.
The police have filed an FIR under sections 143, 147, 148, 149, 323, 354, 427, 436 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code. Five men--Prathap (32), Ravi (25), Raghu (26), Karthik (24) and Jeevan (24)--were named in the FIR.
In 2018, there were 31 incidents o cow related violence all over India. It had 57 victims which also led to 13 deaths. Among all the reported incidents, 21 attacks were in BJP ruled states, according to India Spend fact checker on cow related violence.
LYNCHINGS ON THE BASIS OF RUMOURS OF BEING CHILD LIFTERS/KIDNAPPERS
May 18 2017
Jharkhand (Nagadih village, East Singhbhum): 7 killed
Brothers Vikas Verma (25) and Gautam Verma (27),and their friend Gangesh Gupta (26) had started a business of digging pits for toilets in rural areas, and were on their way back to Jugsalai in Jamshedpur around 8.30 pm on May 18 when they were lynched by a mob of 1,000.
May 19, 2017
Shobhapur village, Seraikela-Kharsawan
Naim (25), Sheikh Sajju (26), Sheikh Siraj (26) and Sheikh Halim (28) were residents of Haldipokhar village and allegedly involved in cattle trade. They were lynched by a mob of 600-700 people in the early hours of May 19.
Rumour fuelled both incidents. It started with a Hindi daily publishing reports that child-lifters were on the prowl in Potka, Asanboni and Musaboni areas near Jamshedpur. The reports were soon converted into Facebook posts and forwarded as WhatsApp messages.
Maharashtra: 9 killed
Dadarao Shankarao Bhosale (36) and his brother Bharat (45), Bharat Malve (45), Aagnu Srimant Ingole (20) and Raju Bhosale (47) were all members of the nomadic Gosavi community, were killed by a mob of over 3,500. Cocktail of many rumours spread over various media, including a 40-second video which shows disfigured bodies of young children lined up in rows and a Hindi voice-over claiming that they had been kidnapped. Another video shows a woman wearing a hijab and a voice-over claiming that people like her abduct children.
Four more men were lynched in three other incidents in Maharashtra within a week last month — 3 in Aurangabad and 1 in Gondia — all over similar rumours.
In the month of July, 2018, alone, 29 people have been lynched by bloodthirsty mobs on suspicion of child lifters or cow smugglers. The victims were assaulted with no evidence of child lifting was found later. There are also people who were killed on suspicions of robbery.
A 40-year-old man named Mohammad Riyaz was the one who was beaten to death by a mob on suspicions of robbery. Also, no FIR was registered in the matter.
Mohammad Azam, a 32-year-old software engineer from Bidar of Karnataka was beaten to death and four others seriously injured over WhatsApp-driven rumours of child kidnapping after they were spotted distributing sweets to children.
LATEST COMMUNALLY MOTIVATED ATTACKS
Holi 2019 – Gurgaon family attacked
On Holi, March 21, A Muslim family was attacked in Gurgaon and was asked to “go to Pakistan” after a fight over cricket. The four brothers, their wives and children had all gathered at Sajid’s home. The women were in the kitchen cooking, the older men gossiping, the girls playing around the house.
The boys of the family had decided to play cricket in a vacant plot in front of their home. Some of them were just three or five years old. But after some men objected to their playing on the field, a group of intoxicated men asked the family to leave for Pakistan as they were Mulims. Soon a group of men carrying sticks forced their entry into the Muslim house and beat up the entire family including toddlers and woman.
Though FIR was registered against the accused due to the video recording captured by a female member of the family, soon the police also registered a cross FIR against the victim for assaulting one of the men among the accused.
October 2018 – Muslim man burnt alive during Dussehra (Bihar)
Zainul Ansari was killed on his way back from his sister's place on October 20, a day after a clash broke out between two groups near the Gaushala Chowk area on the outskirts of Sitamarhi, about 135 km north of state capital Patna, after rumours that stones were pelted on a religious procession. His family says when he was told about the communal disturbance in the area, Zainul Ansari had told them nobody would touch such an old man. The 82-yearold was first hacked and then burnt at Gaushala Chowk.
The family found out about his murder only after four days, through a picture which had gone viral. The Bihar Police, however, for almost three weeks refused to act, and said his half burnt body was thrown at Gaushala Chowk. But when pictures of Zainul Ansari's body being dragged and then set on fire were sent to higher authorities, the police took action.
The police after a month of the incident arrested 11
COMMUNAL RIOTS SINCE 2014
2016 Kaliachak riots:
Riots broke out in Kaliachak, Malda district in West Bengal, India on 3 January 2016 when a part of a protest rally attended by thousands of Muslims turned violent. The Muslims were protesting the remark of Kamlesh Tiwari, who claimed to be a Hindu Mahasabha leader, made on 3 December 2015 in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which allegedly made derogatory remarks against the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
A section of that protest rally turned violent when police and Border Security Force (BSF) confronted the protesters. Mob vandalized Kaliachak Police station, block development office and public property injuring 30 policemen. Several private and government vehicles including BSF and North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) vehicles were torched. The train service was disturbed as protesters blocked railway tracks at Khaltipur railway station.
2016 Dhulagarh Riots:
On 13 and 14 December 2016, infuriated Muslim mobs attacked and looted shops and houses of the local Hindus and set them on fire in Dhulagarh in Howrah district of West Bengal following an altercation on 12 December 2016 between processionists and local residents who were observing religious rituals.
Siddharth Nath Singh of BJP accused the minority cell of Trinamool Congress of actively engineering the riots. The West Bengal unit of the BJP announced that it will move the National Human Rights Commission over the issue of communal riots in Dhulagarh. The BJP claimed attackers were brought in from outside to create trouble in the presence of Trinamool Congress MLA Gulshan Mullick.
Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, denied any incident of communal riots in Dhulagarh. She termed the events as a 'small incident' and a 'local problem' and categorically denied any communal problem.
2017 – Baduria Riots
Following the post made on 2 July by the school boy, a mob of an estimated 5,000 people blockaded the Baduria police station, demanding that the accused be brought before the crowd. The post also resulted in an arson attack on the accused's house. He was arrested on the evening of 3 July 2017. The Muslim religious leaders of the area tried to pacify the rioters and urged them to retreat. However, the mob continued their vandalism, demanding the accused be handed over to them.
The Baduria police station was attacked and set ablaze along with several police vehicles on the night of 3 July. A violent mob put up road blockades at several places and attacked members of other community, besides destroying many shops.
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