2017- A year of Hatred, Impunity and Heightened Identity Politics

///2017- A year of Hatred, Impunity and Heightened Identity Politics

2017- A year of Hatred, Impunity and Heightened Identity Politics

2017- A year of Hatred, Impunity and Heightened Identity Politics

CSSS Team: Irfan Engineer, Neha Dabhade, Suraj Nair[1]

(Secular Perspective January 1-31, 2018)

According to the monitoring by the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS), the number of communal incidents reported in the print media and web portals have declined in the year 2017 as compared to 2016. However, polarization along religious lines has sharpened. Muslims and Christians are targeted in the form of hate crimes by Hindu supremacists. The justification for such attacks is sought by the perpetrators by weaving a discourse on cow protection, making cow the holy symbol and equating it to nationalism and the issue of ‘love jihad’. The lack of action by the State against hate crimes has encouraged violence and emboldened the perpetrators of violence. The Hindu supremacists have been targeting minorities without fear and worst, publicly claiming, and glorifying their violence. This is possible because of environment of impunity for the hate crimes provided by the State resulting in insecurities for the Muslims, Christians and Dalits. The result of such low intensity but brutal hate crimes is further stigmatization of the minorities and polarization amongst communities along communal lines.

According to the data released by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in Parliament, till the month of September, the year 2017witnessed 296 incidents of communal violence, with 44 deaths. The years 2014 and 2015had experienced 703 and 751 communal incidences with 86 and 97 deaths respectively according to MHA data. Highest number of communal incidents occurred in Uttar Pradesh – 60. Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal too figure high on the list(Tripathy, 2017).MHA collects data from the State Governments, which in turn collects from all police stations. Only a fraction of the communal incidents are reported in Media. However, since the year 2016, MHA has stopped publicizing the data on communal incidents and there is no way to ascertain the number of communal incidents recorded by the police throughout the country. CSSS’s monitoring of communal incidents for the year 2017 is therefore based on the incidents reported in media.

In 2015, while the MHA data reported 751 incidents of communal violence in which 97 persons were died and 2264 persons were injured, the 5 daily news papers monitored by CSSS – Mumbai editions of The Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindu, Sahafat and Inquilab for reports on communal incidents, reported only 47 incidents in which 15 lives were lost and 272 suffered injuries. This is indicative of underreporting of communal incidents in print media. Like every year, CSSS monitored incidents of communal violence throughout the year tracking the five newspapers in two languages – English and Urdu mentioned above.

The five dailies, in 2017,reported 43 communal incidents resulting in 7 deaths and injuries to 136persons in comparison to 62 communal incidents, 8 deaths and 676 persons injured in 2016 as given in Table 1 and Graph 1.

Table 1: Comparative Table of Communal Incidents in 2016 and 2017

Year

Communal Incidents

Death Injuries
2017 43 7 136
2016 62 8 676

 

Graph 1: Comparative Chart of Communal Incidents in 2017 and 2016

 

Graph-1

Out of the 7 deaths, 2 were from Hindu community while 4 were from Muslim community and religion in one is unknown. 17 arrests were made from the Hindu community while 31 arrests were made from Muslim community in cases related to 43 communal incidents as given in Graph 2.

Graph2: Religion-wise breakup of No.of people killed and arrested

Graph-2

This like every year points out at two things- first, the majority of victims of communal violence are from the Muslim community and secondly, though they are largely victims, they are also arrested in large numbers. According to NCRB data, 20.9% of the under trials are Muslims which is much higher than their representation in population (Rath, 2017).  Criminalization of the Muslim community has been a continuing trend which at one level also problematizes the response of the judicial system in India to communal violence.

Out of 43, 17 are reported from Uttar Pradesh, 7 from Maharashtra, 4 from Gujarat and 3 each from Bihar and Rajasthan as given in Table 2 and Graph 3.

Table 2: State wise no. of Communal Incidents

Sr. No. State Count of Incidents
1 Uttar Pradesh 17
2 Maharashtra 7
3 Gujarat 4
4 Rajasthan 3
5 Bihar 3
6 West Bengal 2
7 Jharkhand 1
8 Madhya Pradesh 1
9 Telangana 1
10 Karnataka 1
11 J&K 1
12 Odisha 1
13 New Delhi 1
Grand Total 43

 

Graph 3: State wise no. of Communal Incidents

 

Graph-3

34 incidents out of 43 incidents took place in states ruled by the BJP, 1 in Congress ruled states and 8 in states ruled by other parties. However BJP rules in 18 states, Congress in 5, 10 other states are ruled by other parties as given in Graph4.

Graph 4: Regime wise break up of no. of Communal Incidents.

Graph-4

Change in the pattern of communal violence:

Post 2014, perceptible changes can be observed in the trends of communal violence in India. While earlier, large number of people from a community or neighbourhood was targeted as a form of collective punishment for an alleged wrong or any trigger of conflict, since the BJP has come to power, individuals from Muslim community are being targeted by vigilante groups largely under the pretext of cow protection or love jihad. The targeting is in form of mob lynching or hate crimes. The Hindu supremacists act as vigilantes without fear and the role of state is complicit as can be seen from the cases. The most trivial dispute between members of different communities were given communal hues and become a communal incident. Thus some of the trends are in continuation of 2014, 2015 and 2016. The following points explain the trends in greater details:

  1. Change in Modus Operandi:

Aim and the modus operandi of violence have seen a change from last few years. While earlier pre 2014 violence was directed at a large or sizeable number of individuals from a community, in 2017 the violence was directed at individuals from the Muslim community. In that sense, it was controlled violence and not large scale. This was achieved through lynch mob violence and justified through communalized discourses. What is particularly disturbing is that the violence was brutal and gory and turned into a public spectacle. In 2017, 15 individuals were killed and 49 injured in mob lynching incidents. Amongst the 49 injured, 38 were Muslims while the religion of 11 was not specified. The incidents of mob lynch stands at 23. State wise breakup of the incidents is given below in Graph 5.

Graph 5: State wise no. of Mob Lynching incidents

Graph-5

Out of these 23 incidents of mob lynching, 21 were related to cow. In one of the incidents, in Faridabad, UP, polio-stricken auto-rickshaw driver Azad and a minor were on their way from Fatehpur to Old Faridabad carrying buffalo meat when they were waylaid by six persons in a car near Bajri village. Police arrested three persons in connection with this incident. The three have been identified as Lakhan, Dileep and Ram Kumar. The trio was, however, granted bail within hours of the arrest. Azad claims that the Bajrang Dal activists continued to beat them up even in the presence of policemen.

In another incident, two persons were lynched at a village in the Dhupguri block of West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district in the early hours of August 27th under suspicion of stealing cows. The villagers noticed that a pick-up van carrying cows was aimlessly wandering around the area. When challenged by the villagers the van picked up speed and tried to escape. However, the villagers soon captured the van and caught hold of Mr. Sheikh and Mr. Hussain. The driver fled from the spot. After questioning the two for a while, the locals had beaten them to death. According to Anwar’s father Mahamadul Hussain, he had received information that Anwar and Sheikh were beaten to death after they were unable to pay INR 50, 000 demanded by the locals. Three persons have been arrested related to this incident.

Other 2 incidents out of 23 were related to inter-religious marriage and over a Muslim covering his head with headscarve. A 60-year old man was beaten to death by a group of people in Bulandshahr on 2nd May as they suspected him of aiding a couple from different faiths to elope. Riyazuddin Ahmad, had eloped with a girl from Fazalpur who belongs to a different community. Tension was simmering since then. In no time, members of the Hindu YuvaVahini began threatening Ghulam Ahmed as they thought he knew the whereabouts of the couple. On 2nd May the group questioned him on the whereabouts of the couple. When Ahmed was unable to answer they beat him mercilessly with rods leading to his death. In the second incident, a group of men travelling in a train from Delhi to Haridwar first heckled and then beat up three fellow passengers, identified as Gulzar Ahmad, Mohammad Israr and Abu Bakr, near Baghpat in UP on Thursday, ostensibly “for covering their heads with rumaal (headscarves)”.

  1. Re-victimization of the victims:

The trend of re-victimization of the victims by the state continues this year too. Instead of bringing the perpetrators of violence to justice and using that as a deterrent, the State is criminalizing the victims of violence. This leads to re-victimization. In Maharashtra, two meat traders were beaten up by a cow vigilante squad in Malegaon, on suspicion of possessing beef. Video footage of the incident appeared to show the men being slapped and abused, and told to say “Jai Sri Ram” (“Hail Lord Ram”). Nine men have been arrested. However, the two meat traders also face criminal charges for “outraging religious feelings” (Amnesty International, 2017).

In Aligarh, cow vigilantes beat up five people they claimed had illegally slaughtered a buffalo inside the premises of a private dairy in Gandhi Park area. The owner of the dairy, Kalu Baghel, was operating from his compound in Panna Ganj locality. After a buffalo had stopped yielding milk, he decided to sell it. Imran, a cattle trader, offered to buy the buffalo provided the dairy owner gave allowed him to slaughter the animal on the premises of the dairy. A group of five people — four butchers along with Imran — were in the middle of slaughtering the buffalo when the blood of the animal oozed out of the gates of the dairy and was spotted by some bystanders. The police have arrested the five people along with the owner of the dairy for illegal slaughter. However, no case has been registered against the assaulters (The Tribune, 2017).

On May 26 three youths in Washim, Maharashtra was thrashed for allegedly carrying the meat. One of the attackers made a video of this incident and circulated it on social Media. Seven suspected cow vigilantes were arrested from the Rajora village. The police have also booked the three victims for the possession of “beef” under various sections of the amended Maharashtra Preservation and Security of Animals Act. Later a local court released all the accused on a bond (Hindustan Times, 2017).

  1. The response of the State:

The response of the State has been callous and its attempt at trivializing targeted violence is a mockery of justice. The state response can be problematized at various levels. At one level, the State is ushering legislations that are victimizing the minorities and infringing on basic rights of citizens and at another level carrying out shoddy investigation which is hampering prospects of justice and convictions. These policies and responses are shaped keeping in with the ideology and agenda of the ruling dispensation. The ideology backed with the statements of representatives sworn under Constitution are excluding and discriminating against vulnerable sections like Muslims, Christians and Dalits. The policies also betray this hegemony. For instance the cow protection law covers almost 99% of Indians and now in force in 84% of Indian States and Union territories. The law criminalizes slaughter of cows and in states like Gujarat even transportation of cows for slaughter as well as possession of beef(Saldanha, 2017).

Like mentioned above, the victim is not only victimized when he/she is attacked and violence perpetrated against them but also at another level when justice is denied by carrying out shoddy investigation. This affords certain impunity and political patronage to the perpetrators who fearlessly continue such attacks and hate crimes. RSS leaders’ murders are investigated by NIA(The Indian Express, 2017) while there is shoddy investigation into the killings of innocent citizens who are victims of hate crimes notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence against the Hindu supremacists in the cases. For instance, Pehlu Khan, was beaten up brutally by self-styled cow protection vigilante group in Alwar, Rajasthan. The vigilante group accused Pehlu Khan of transporting cow for slaughter. Khan in his dying declaration named six accused, three of them having links to right wing organization. All six were given a clean chit and investigation has been closed against them by the Rajasthan police (Mukherjee, 2017). Investigations also focused if Pehlu Khan was engaged in any illegal smuggling of cattle.

What is particularly vicious and gives encouragement as also to some extend legitimacy to the acts of hate crimes are the statements and discourses put forth by the political leadership and authorities holding constitutional positions. For instance, Sangeet Som who is a BJP MLA claims that Taj Mahal was has no place in Indian culture and its creator wanted to wipe out Hindus (Hindustan Times, 2017). The Prime Minister himself demonizes the Muslims by referring to the Mughals in a derogatory way. He likened the Congress party’s mindset with ‘Mughal mindset’ recently (Mathew & Saiyed, 2017). Yogi Adityanath in response to Tipu Sultan Jayanti being celebrated in Karnataka said that it’s a shame that instead of worshipping Hanuman, Tipu Sultan is being worshipped (The Indian Express, 2017). This discourse is entrenching the mindset that Muslims are secondary citizens of the country and thus deserve to be persecuted or discriminated against.

The role of the police has been questioned in communal violence. While it is well established that police have their biases against certain communities, what makes their role and credibility dubious is their heavy reliance and association with the Hindu Supremacists. In various cases, the police have flouted laws by allowing lawlessness to thrive and thereby giving extremists and vigilante groups unbridled impunity. In Pehlu Khan’s case, Sadhvi Kamal was given access to the accused in police custody. She glorified the act of the accused (lynching Pehlu Khan to death) by equating it to that of Bhagat Singh. This obviously helped in normalizing the violence and strengthens the exclusivist discourse on nationalism which currently centers around symbols like cow. This act of the police when juxtaposed with its lackadaisical approach in making a strong case for conviction of the accused clearly exposes the partisan role of the police in this case. The ‘Anti- romeo’ squads in UP that targeted Muslim youth made up of plain clothes policemen implicated innocent in false cases and assaulted them. The police also supported actions of vigilante groups indulging in moral policing.

  1. Theatre of violence:

An important trend in communal violence is that while earlier it was largely an urban phenomenon, now it is taking place in rural areas as well. The issues like cow are gaining strength in rural areas. State wise break up shows, as mentioned above, majority of the communal incidents took place in Uttar Pradesh. In fact, out of 43 incidents, 24 incidents have taken place in the ‘Hindi belt’ or ‘cow belt’- Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, continuing to be the communally sensitive region in the country. The western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat remain to be the hotbed of violence, having 11 communal incidents between the two. Gujarat faced elections in the end of 2017 and BJP retained power in it. However, since 2014, the theatre of violence extends to states like West Bengal, Karnataka and Kerala. Karnataka will face state assembly elections shortly this year. West Bengal is increasingly becoming volatile with the BJP accusing Mamta Banerjee of Muslim appeasement which BJP allege is leading to terrorism in the state and influx of Bangladeshi migrants. This along with organizing aggressive processions during Ram Navami has led to deepening of ‘Hindu’ identity amongst the Hindus in the state which helps BJP to garner support. In Kerala increasing polarization can be observed. One of the pointers was the case of 24 year old Hadiya who converted to Islam from Hindu religion out of free will and later married a Muslim man. The Kerala government annulled her marriage and gave her custody to her parents who kept her in house arrest in abdominal state. Her parents were supported by Hindu supremacists in Kerala. West Bengal and Kerala are ruled by non BJP parties. Machinations to expand their support base have made these states turbulent and prone to intense attempts to polarize communities and spread hatred against Muslims.

  1. Triggers of violence:

The immediate causes of communal violence perhaps best tells the story of communal violence in India. The smallest and most trivial incidences were exploited and manipulated by the Hindu supremacists to bring about communal tensions. The depth of polarization of the communities achieved can be gauged from incidents where personal enmity between members of two communities has been turned into conflicts between two communities and giving it a dangerous communal spin. For instance, in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra, an altercation over setting up a stall between vendors from two communities led to communal violence. Stone pelting ensued which led to 17 injuries and damaged shops and houses. In Nandurbar, Maharashtra there was communal violence after a customer refused to pay a bill at an eating joint.

Largely the trend continues from last year where social media has been used to spread communal tensions by posting objectionable and derogatory posts about religious leaders or Gods. These are then used as a pretext to attack communities and spread hatred. The Baduria and Bashirhat riots were triggered off by a derogatory post on facebook allegedly circulated by one Souvik Sarkar. Some Muslims protested against it and attacked his house. This incident was used by the BJP to mobilize the Hindu community by terming it as a national issue and spreading hatred against Muslims. Similar incident took place in Bhadrak, Odisha.

Processions of tazia or Durga puja or Ganesh idols/ songs in front of places of worship during Ram Navami, Durga Puja, Morahamhave been one of the frequent reasons for communal incidents between two communities in places like Banswara in Rajasthan and Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Mischievous elements to foment communal tensions are placing meat in places of worship leading to communal tensions like was the case in Surat.

  1. Hate Crimes:

While mob lynching was one form of violence, another form was hate crimes. Hate crime are crimes that are committed out of hatred and to perpetuate more hatred and instigate similar violence. Hate crimes are vicious because innocent are targeted without even knowing their identity or for no enmity. For instance, Shambulal Raigar, a trader from Rajsamand in Rajasthan called Afrazul, a Muslim worker under the pretext of work and hacked to death using Afrazul’s tools. Raigar made his minor nephew shoot the video of him axing Mohammad Afrazul to death and made the video viral. Raigar in the video justified the hacking by claiming that he was ‘saving’ the Hindu women from ‘love jihad’ by killing Afrazul. He did not know Afrazul and Afrazul hadn’t married a Hindu woman. This hate crime has to be contextualized in the environment where the BJP in its election manifesto in Uttar Pradesh had included forming of ‘anti- romeo’ squads to protect Hindu women. Such agenda and aggressive campaigning on the issue has deepened the notion of women as ‘honor’ of the community and promoted hysteria about their bodies and agency.

The major change in the pattern of communal violence has been the hate crimes in past year. Individuals from Muslim and Christian communities have been targeted due to their religious identity without fear, rebuke or regret. Hate crimes are not isolated cases but part of a larger discourse that is dominating the public spaces conscience to demonize the Muslim and Christian communities. It points out to deeply entrenched violence and intolerance in the country. Cow and ‘love jihad’ were the issues exploited to target the Muslims. Pehlu Khan, Junaid, Afrazul are only a few names that have been senselessly killed by people who didn’t even know them. Public spectacles are made out of brutal killings and violence condoned by the State.

Anti-Christian violence is on a rise which manifests itself in attitudes as well as physical attacks. The desecration of holy crosses in South Goa in a highly charged atmosphere of intolerance exacerbated with hate speeches of Sadhvi Saraswati was aimed at symbolic violence. It was nonetheless a warning that Christians in the ideology of the Hindu supremacists are second class citizens. In Aligarh, RSS affiliate Hindu Jagran Manch had issued letters to schools to not celebrate Christmas which believe promotes Christianity (The Indian Express, 2017). In Satna in Madhya Pradesh a group of 30 priests and seminarians singing carols was detained by local police who acted upon the complaint of Bajrang Dal. Bajrang Dal accused the choir of forcibly converting the villagers to Christianity(The Indian Express, 2017). The Hindu supremacists are intensely campaigning against the Christian community by strengthening the stereotypes and narratives that Christians aim at converting Hindus by force or luring them with inducements.

Why is it important to talk about them? Apart from the fact that, certain communities are targeted owing to their religious identity (majority of the hate crimes are against Muslims), such hate crimes question the basic foundation of democracy and pluralism in India. It challenges the notion of equal citizenship and fraternity. Uncontrolled hatred will breed more hatred and engulf many more marginalized groups- Dalits, farmers, trade unionists, writers, women etc.

Conclusion:

The hate crimes and communal incidents in 2017 have led to deepening of communal identities. With controlled violence more effective polarization has been achieved by strengthening discourse of hatred against not only Christians and Muslims but also other marginalized sections. This has encouraged violence and impunity which in turn is naturalizing it. This is leading to a vicious cycle of violence. The State has in effect condoned this violence by taking very little action and provided cue to Hindu supremacists and vigilantes to perpetuate violence in an enabling environment. The State has been largely complicit in this violence by sharpening identity politics through saffronization of history, campaign on cow and inter-religious marriages. This is heralding the country in a direction where Constitutional values are blatantly disregarded or violated and Hindutva hegemony is endangering lives and citizenship rights of Muslims and Christians.

 

Bibliography

Amnesty International. (2017, June 28). Retrieved January 1, 2018, from Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/06/india-hate-crimes-against-muslims-and-rising-islamophobia-must-be-condemned/

Hindustan Times. (2017, October 16). Retrieved December 30, 2017, from Hindustan Times: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/taj-mahal-has-no-place-in-indian-history-its-creator-wanted-to-wipe-out-hindus-bjp-mla-sangeet-som/story-s8qOKRL85m0lqE5oUMrNhM.html

Mathew, L., & Saiyed, K. (2017, December 8). The Indian Express. Retrieved December 30, 2017, from The Indian Express: http://indianexpress.com/elections/gujarat-assembly-elections-2017/gujarat-elections-narendra-modi-mani-shankar-aiyar-linking-neech-to-caste-teach-them-a-lesson-on-voting-day-4973257/

Mukherjee, D. (2017, september 14). Hindustan times. Retrieved December 30, 2017, from Hindustan Times: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/no-one-killed-pehlu-khan-probe-against-hindu-right-wing-men-named-by-dying-cattle-farmer-closed/story-SDghUwo8QQJRAArn2Gy2rK.html

Saldanha, A. (2017, April 29). Hindustan Times. Retrieved December 31, 2017, from Hindustan Times: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/more-than-99-indians-now-live-in-areas-under-cow-protection-laws-gujarat-has-strictest-rules/story-Z8v4B9skYXyoW79vZ6KHBI.html

The Indian Express. (2017, December 19). Retrieved December 31, 2017, from The Indian Express: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/up-police-alerts-all-sps-in-view-of-hindu-groups-christmas-threat-4989705/

The Indian Express. (2017, December 19). Retrieved January 1, 2018, from The Indian Express: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/outrage-in-satna-madhya-pradesh-seminarians-detained-anti-conversion-law-4988819/

The Indian Express. (2017, November 18). Retrieved January 2, 2018, from The Indian Express: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/nia-team-lands-in-ludhiana-to-probe-rss-leaders-murder-ravindra-gosain-4942625/

The Indian Express. (2017, December 21). Retrieved December 31, 2017, from The Indian Express: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/yogi-adityanath-instead-of-hanuman-congress-worships-tipu-sultan/

Tripathy, R. (2017, August 9). The Indian Express. Retrieved December 30, 2017, from The Indian Express: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/up-witnesses-296-communal-incidents-in-2017-highest-so-far/

 

 

Annexure

Communal Incidents in 2017: A Brief Summary

By CSSS Team: Irfan Engineer, Neha Dabhade and Suraj Nair

 

Communal Riots in North Zone:

State No. of Date of Incident Killed Injured Arrested
Uttar Pradesh 17 3 47 58
Bihar 3 0 3 125
Rajasthan 3 1 1 44
J&K 1 0 0 0
Jharkhand 1 0 4 0
Madhya Pradesh 1 0 6 12
New Delhi 1 0 0 0
Grand Total 27 4 61 239

 

Communal Riots in Uttar Pradesh:

 

Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured –
Total
Arrested –
Total
1 11, February 2017 Nayagaon Bijnor 1 1 1
2 03, March 2017 Lakhimpur Lakhimpur Kher 0 1 5
3 20, April 2017 Sadak Dhudhli Saharanpur 0 0 20
4 10, May 2017 Nandrauli Sambhal 0 NA 6
5 06, June 2017 Naseerpur Muzaffarnagar 1 NA 20
6 11, June 2017 Meerut Meerut 0 3 0
7 28, June 2017 Kulapur / Shirpur Muzaffarnagar 0 0 NA
8 17, July 2017 Varanasi Varanasi 0 0 2
9 21, July 2017 Khailam Bareilly 0 NA 0
10 11, August 2017 Aligarh Aligarh 0 2 0
11 02, September 2017 Barla Muzaffarnagar 0 0 0
12 03, September 2017 Salempur Saharanpur 0 0 0
13 01, October 2017 Param Purwa / Rawatpur Kanpur 0 30 0
14 01, October 2017 Sikandarpur Ballia 0 6 0
15 02, October 2017 Chhaprauli Noida 0 1 0
16 04, November 2017 Nagla Mewati Aligarh 1 3 4
17 14, November 2017 Kotiwala Muzaffarnagar 0 0 0

 

11th February 17, Nayagaon, (Bijnor)

 Communal tension was palpable in Bijnor district of western Uttar Pradesh on 11th February after a 16-year-old boy was killed and his father critically injured in Nayagaon village on 10th Feb. The accused were Muslims. Some unidentified people stabbed a farmer Sanjay and his 16-year-old son Vishal at Nayagaon when the farmer had gone to irrigate his field. Vishal was shot three times and died on the spot. Sanjay was fatally injured. Police arrested Iqbal, former head of Penda village involved in this incident and seven others were named as main accused in the murder of the boy.  The incident came nearly five months after killing of three Muslims in Penda village on September 16 last year over eve-teasing incident (Hindustan Times, 12/02/2017 / Indian Express, 12/02/2017).

03rd March 17, Lakhimpur, (Lakhimpur Kher)

Curfew was imposed in Lakhimpur city following clashes over an objectionable video which was allegedly circulated by two students. The curfew was imposed on 2nd March.  The city police arrested the two students who had allegedly circulated the video. However, protests began and the markets were also closed. There were reports of clashes and firing following which the district magistrate announced the imposition of curfew till further orders. One person was injured in the cash. Meanwhile, heavy police force has been deployed in the city. 3 BJP members were arrested related to this incident. (Sahafat, 04/03/2017 and Indian Express, 03/03/2017

20th April 17, Sadak Dhudhli, (Saharanpur)

Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh witnessed communal clashes on 20th April after BJP MP Raghav Lakhanpal and other party leaders took out the “Ambedkar shobha yatra,” allegedly without police permission, through the communally sensitive parts of the city. Senior Superintendent of Police, Saharanpur, Love Kumar, ordered filing of FIR against Mr. Lakhanpal and over 500 others for the violence, vandalism and attack on the house of the Senior Superintendent of Police and the DM office. Sadak Dudhli village, on the outskirts of Saharanpur, has a mixed population of Muslims and Dalits. After the Yogi Adityanath government took charge in Uttar Pradesh, Hindu groups, in coordination with local BJP leaders, announced that they would take out a procession, called ‘Shobha Yatra’ in local parlance, through the village. The police denied them permission as it was a communally sensitive area, but the BJP leaders went ahead. The procession was attacked with stones when it was about to enter the Muslim area of the village. Two FIRs were registered, one for the communal clash in which 10 persons from both sides had been booked and another for the attack on the SSP’s house and vandalism and rioting on the road in which BJP MP’s supporters were found to be involved. (The Hindu, 21/04/2017)

10th May 17, Nandrauli, (Sambhal)

A Muslim youth and a married Hindu woman who were having an affair fled on May 8 which resulted in tension in the Nandrauli village. Muslim houses were attacked as a result of this. Fearing lives many Muslims families fled the village. According to villagers, the situation took a turn for the worse on the night of 10th May, when a mob attacked more than 12 Muslim houses in the presence of police officials. While 6 people have been arrested related to this incident. Four police officers also suspended because of their failure to prevent the riots. (Sahafat 13/5/17 and Times of India 16/05/2017)

06th June 17, Naseerpur, (Muzaffarnagar)

One person was killed and over a dozen were injured in the violence that was triggered by a petty fight over overflowing water from a sewage line. Police arrested 20 people on charges of murder and rioting after communal violence. Iqbal was on his way to the local mosque on Monday when he got into an argument with one Brijpal over a flowing drain. The issue was sorted out in the afternoon at a meeting of the village elders, who persuaded them to arrive at a compromise. But by the evening, the issue flared up again and led to a violent clash in which people attacked each other with firearms and stones. Brijpal and his son Akash were injured in the firing. Akash succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital. The police arrested the Naseerpur village head, Sabir on 08th after he was named in an FIR filed by Brijpal. Sabir  however, claims that he had nothing to do with the clash. (The Hindu, 09/06/2017)

11th June 17, Meerut, (Meerut)

Meerut region witnessed communal tension when the residents saw a broken idol. To protest, the mob blocked the road and burned the vehicles. A medical college was also damaged by the mob. To disperse the mob the police resorted to latti charge and used firing. 3 people got injured in this incident. (Inquilab 11/6/17)

28th June 17, Kulapur / Shirpur, (Muzaffarnagar)

Rumors were spread that cow is being slaughter at Kulapur and Shirpur. To confirm, police raided both the areas but was unable to find anything related to cow slaughtering. While they failed to arrest people in Kulapur they arrested innocent people on false charges of spreading news from Shirpur.  The protestors pelted stone on the police. However, police were unable to find the culprits for spreading the rumors. (Inquilab 28/06/2017)

17th July 17, Varanasi, (Varanasi)

Trouble broke out when rumors were spread about Kabristan land grabbing which led to fight among the members of two communities. Some extremist elements tried to escalate this tension. However, the police arrived and resorted to lathi charge and used tear gas to disperse the mob. According to SP R. Bharadwaj 2 Muslims were arrested for spreading rumors and case are filled against unknown persons. (Sahafat 17/7/17)

21st July 17, Khailam, (Bareilly)

On the last day of the Kanvar Yatra, a group of a particular community reportedly attacked the kanvar devotees around 7:15 pm in the evening on 21st July when they were passing through the village Khailam. During the stone pelting, police and ITBP jawans deployed there also sustained injuries and were sent to the hospital for treatment. Residents from a particular community were having objection over the Kanvar Yatra passing through near the Khailam village.  According to police, heavy police forces have been deployed in the area and situation brought under control. (Times of India 22/07/2017)

11th August 17, Aligarh, (Aligarh)

Tension prevailed in Aligarh after police resorted to firing to disperse a group of people who turned violent after Friday prayers and pelted stones. The crowd was protesting the murder of two brothers, Mohammad Wasim and Mohammad Aashu, by a man called Suresh from another community. Two persons, including a policeman, were injured in the clash. The Upper Court Street, where the clash occurred, was strewn with bricks and stones and riot police was deployed in the area. What sparked off the protest was the statement of BJP MLA Sanjeev Raja, justifying the killing as an act of “self-defence”.  To control the mob, police restored to lathi charge and used tear gas and chilli bombs. Though he denied that any firing took place, local residents claimed that police personnel fired in the air to disperse the mob. A police vehicle was also damaged by the protestors. Police said a case will be registered under various sections of the IPC after identifying the youths in the video, as the entire incident was recorded. One police personnel was injured in this incident. (Times of India 12/08/2017)

02nd September 17, Barla, (Muzaffarnagar)

Muzaffarnagar remained tense on Id-ul-Azha after unidentified persons threw pieces of meat at a place of worship at Barla village on 2nd September. Some of the villagers noticed that the gate of the religious place was open and when they went inside, they found meat and blood. The villagers and the local BJP and RSS leaders demanded immediate action.  The village and its outskirts remained tense as the villagers staged a protest at the police station. The police took the complaint from the villagers and promised to register an FIR. The situation was tense but under control. To ensure peace and law and order, police  deployed PAC personnel and extra police force in the village. (The Hindu 03/09/2017)

3rd September 17, Salempur, (Saharanpur)

The two communities living in the village were on the verge of clashes after devotees found pieces of meat inside a temple on 3rd September.  As the news spread that a temple was desecrated, people gathered outside its main gate. An agitated mob start protested against the desecration and demanded action against the culprits. However, Police reacted proactively and talked to community elders in the village and brought about a compromise. While the villagers accuse someone tried to incite the violence, police says that it seems a dog must have brought the meat to the temple. (The Hindu 04/09/2017)

01st October 17, Param Purwa / Rawatpur, (Kanpur)

Communal clashes at two places in Kanpur left nearly 30 people, including five policemen, injured while nearly 10 vehicles and four shops were either set afire or ransacked. Trouble began in Param Purwa when a Tazia procession — commemorating the death of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of prophet Muhammad — took a different route instead of the permitted one. Trouble broke out when the tazia procession was taken out from the Hindu dominated region for which they didn’t have permission. Tempers flared quickly, and the two sides clashed, pelting stones at each other. Anti-social elements torched a police vehicle, ransacked a police outpost and shops and set afire five two-wheelers in the area. In Rawatpur, the organizers of Ram Baraat refused to allow the Tazia procession on Saturday night. As the issue was being resolved on Sunday, 01st October morning, bricks were thrown from a temple on police teams involved in negotiations. Police resorted to baton charge on the crowd. (Hindustan Times, 01/10/2017)

01st October 17, Sikandarpur, (Ballia)

Communal clash erupted when Tazia procession was passing from Jalpa Chowk near Rasidia Masjid at the district’s Sikandarpur town and the rumour of stone pelting on the procession spread. This resulted in clash between the two communities. In the muddle, unidentified anti-social elements attacked people with sharp-edged weapons, injuring six. They also set on fire two bikes and two bicycles. (Hindustan Times, 02/10/2017)

02nd October 17, Chhaprauli, (Noida)

A local mosque in Chhaprauli village in Noida Sector 135 was allegedly vandalized after another community raised objections over Friday prayers being offered. Some youths beat up the Imam and broke the windows and vandalized the graveyard. The attackers had been demanding that the mosque stop operations. Security forces were deployed in the area as a preventive measure. (Indian Express, 03/10/2017)

04th November 17, Nagla Mewati, (Aligarh)

A fight broke out between members of different communities over demolition of toilet which was used by the visitors near the mosque. The toilet was constructed over the land which belonged to Ram Veer and Bunde Khan. However, Khan sold his share of land to Veer, who decided to demolish the toilet. Ram Veer reached the spot with some other people and attempted to demolish the toilet this led to an argument between them and the residents. When Ram Veer’s associates attempted to go on with the demolition, the other group started pelting stones on them. Someone then used Ram Veer’s licenced rifle to fire on the local residents. A bullet hit Mohammad Haseen’s neck. The shooting angered the locals who rushed onto Veer and his associates. Police rushed to their rescue. Veer was critically injured and so were his two brothers. Ajay, Vikas, Akash and Shivam were arrested and police were conducting raids to arrest the other accused in the case. (Indian Express, 06/11/2017)

14th November 17, Kotiwala, (Muzaffarnagar)

A small petty fight among two groups resulted in communal tension in the Kotiwala region. On 14th November Mujeeb along with his friend was travelling in his bike when suddenly his bike collided with a 12-year boy, son of Vikas Agarwal. This resulted in to fight among them. Soon the passer-by also joined the fight which resulted in communal tension. (Inquilab 15/10/17)

 

Communal Riots in Bihar:

Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured
Total
Arrested –
Total
1 04, April 2017 Baghibagdiha Nawada 0 1 21
2 02, October 2017 Jamui Jamui 0 2 24
3 02, October 2017 Piro Bhojpur 0 0 80

04th April 2017, Baghibagdiha, (Nawada)

Tension arose on 04th April morning after some Hindu devotees reportedly found posters related to Ram Navmi festival torn near the Sadbhavna Chowk area. As the matter was brought to police’s notice, protesters decided to block traffic at adjoining NH-31. As the road blockade continued, people from both communities started throwing stones at each other and shouted slogans against each other. Some private vehicles were also damaged. To control the situation police rushed to the spot with police reinforcement and dispersed the mob. However, tension prevailed in the region, On 05 April midnight, Aurangzeb, a policeman was attacked while he was on duty near a Lord Hanuman temple, following which forces were dispatched to quell any communal flareup. (Indian Express, 03/04/2017, 07/04/2017 and Times of India, 07/04/2017)

02nd October 2017, Jamui, (Jamui)

Trouble broke out on 02nd October afternoon, when a tazia procession for Muharram was crossing the town police station area, a crowd gathered. Police opened fire to disperse them in which 2 persons- Banti Shah (25) and Jitu Singh (22) got injured. According to a police officer back on 30th September an idol of Durga was hit by a stone during immersion which had left the local Hindus angered. 24 people have been arrested related to this incident. (Indian Express, 03/10/2017)

02nd October 2017, Piro, (Bhojpur)

Bhojpur police also made 80 arrests to help avoid a clash during a tazia procession on 2nd October 2017. (Indian Express, 03/10/2017)

Communal Riots in Rajasthan:

 

Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured –
Total
Arrested –
Total
1 11 Thu, May 2017 Banswara Banswara 0 NA 40
2 09 Sat, Sep 2017 Ramganj Jaipur 1 1 0
3 19 Tue, Dec 2017 Bagpura Rajsamand 0 0 0

 

11th May 2017, Banswara, (Banswara)

Members of two communities fought with each other over a disputed religious site in Kalika Mata area. On 11th May the groups had clashed with each other when ‘Shab-e- Baraat’ procession was passing by the locality at around 11 pm. Members of both the groups pelted stones, attacked each other with swords, rods and sticks and even damaged police cameras when the cops tried to intervene. A lady police officer’s fingers were chopped during one of such scuffle while more than 10 policemen sustained injuries. Some three dozen people were hurt during various incidents according to police. Curfew has been imposed in the entire city. On 12th also stone pelting was reported in the area. (Sahafat, 17/05/2017 and Times of India, 14/05/2017)

09th September 2017, Ramganj, (Jaipur)

A petty dispute between a police constable and a motorcycle-borne couple led to clashes between the residents and the police, following which the curfew was imposed around 1 am in Ramganj area, where the violence broke out. Angry protesters pelted stones at the police, torched nearby vehicles and vandalized public property. In retaliation, the police fired several shells of tear gas at the mob. One cop was injured, and one person died in the incident. (The Hindu, 09/09/2017 and Times of India, 09/09/2017)

19th December 2017, Bagpura, (Rajsamand)

Protests over the removal of an idol by the district administration from government pastureland led to tension between two communities in Rajsamand on Tuesday, 19th December.  Government officials removed an idol of Hanuman which was installed illegally on government pastureland in Bagpura village on 18th December night. This led to protests by residents, with a crowd starting to assemble at the spot. They believed that members of another community were responsible for removal of the idol by the district administration. The land is owned by the government and members of another community occasionally go there to offer namaaz as they have a no-objection certificate issued by the local panchayat samiti. After the idol was installed, they submitted a memorandum objecting to the development. After the crowd was dispersed, the protesters went to the village and there was stone-pelting between two communities. A car was also set on fire and the mob tried to burn a shop, but the police thwarted their efforts. Four people have been arrested related to this incident. (Indian Express, 20/12/2017)

Communal Riots in J&K:

 

Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured –
Total
Arrested
Total
1 14 Thu, Sep 2017 Leh Leh 0 0 4

 

14th September 2017, Leh, (Leh)

Ladakh Buddhist Association suspects that a Buddhist woman who was converted to Islam in 2015 and married to a Muslim man from Kargil in July 2017 may have done so under duress. A deadline was issued by the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) for people from Kargil to leave. A week ago, the LBA held a public rally where they asked people from Kargil, who were living and working in Leh, to “leave town by September 14 and tell their leaders in Kargil to arrange employment for them”. (Indian Express, 15/09/2017)

Communal Riots in Jharkhand:

 

Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured –
Total
Arrested –
Total
1 11 Tue, Apr 2017 Ranchi Ranchi 0 4 0

 

11th April 2017, Ranchi, (Ranchi)

The administration in Ranchi invoked prohibitory orders and deployed heavy security on the streets on Tuesday, 11th April 2017 to defuse communal tension after groups of Hindus and Muslims pelted stones at each other. Violence erupted when Bajrang Dal members, who had taken out a rally to mark Mahavir Jayanti, allegedly played an objectionable song in front of a mosque. Four people were injured in this incident. (Hindustan Times, 11/04/2017) and Scroll, 11/04/2017)

 

Communal Riots in New Delhi:
Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured –
Total
Arrested –
Total
1 09 Tue, May 2017 Mehroli New Delhi 0 0 NA

 

09th May 2017, Mehroli, (New Delhi)

A small petty fight among the children of two different communities led to communal tension in that area. Minority community people protested the arrest of people from their community in front of police station. (Inquilab, 09/05/2017)

Communal Riots in Madhya Pradesh:

 

Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured –
Total
Arrested –
Total
1 30 Tue, May 2017 Bhopal Bhopal 0 6 12

 

30th May 2017, Bhopal, (Bhopal)

On 30th May the Old City area near Hamidia Hospital witnessed communal violence when a group of people claimed that some minarets were found during the ongoing construction work inside the hospital. They claimed the minarets were that of a mosque and wanted to offer prayers there. However, the district administration refused to give permission to them to offer prayers. Members of another community wanted to offer prayers in a temple inside the hospital campus very close to where the minarets were found. The district administration refused to give them permission to offer prayers, too.

Tension gripped after arson and stone pelting following differences between Muslims and Hindus over the right to pray inside Hamidia Hospital complex. There were two rounds of stone pelting in the area, first was reported around 8.30pm when a large number of Muslims had gathered on the road for Iftar and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) members started heading towards a temple inside the hospital complex to offer prayers. A second round of stone pelting started around 10.30 pm when Muslims came out on the road after namaz in a nearby masjid. Several vehicles were damaged during the riot. Large number of security forces was deployed to prevent further violence in the region. Police administration arrested 12 persons related to riot. (First Post, 31/05/2017, Hindustan Times, 31/05/2017, New Indian Express, 31/05/2017 The Hindu, 31/05/2017, Times of India, 31/05/2017 )

Communal Riots in East Zone:

State No. of Date of Incident Killed Injured Arrested
Odisha 1 0 0 43
West Bengal 2 1 0 6
Grand Total 3 1 0 49

 

Communal Riots in Odisha:
Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured –
Total
Arrested –
Total
1 06 Thu, Apr 2017 Bhadrak Bhadrak 0 0 43

 

06th April 2017, Bhadrak, (Bhadrak)

Violence erupted in Bhadrak on 6th April, after a group staged demonstration near the town police station demanding immediate arrest of those involved in posting offensive remarks against Hindu deities on social media. Though the district administration clamped prohibitory orders, tension persisted and violence broke out 07th after a peace meeting convened by the administration to restore normalcy and maintain communal harmony failed to yield result. As many as 43 people were arrested in connection with the violence which left several shops gutted and vehicles damaged.  The escalation in tension prompted the administration to impose curfew and ban the social networking sites. 36 platoons of force were deployed in the area to curtail any further violence. (The Hindu, 09/04/2017 and Times of India, 09/04/2017)

 

Communal Riots in West Bengal:
Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured –
Total
Arrested –
Total
1 10 Sat, Jun 2017 Purulia Purulia 0 NA 5
2 02 Sun, Jul 2017 Basirhat North 24-Parganas 1 0 1

 

10th June 2017, Purulia, (Purulia)

The Purulia town in south-west West Bengal witnessed tension after clash between two groups over social media posts that allegedly hurt religious sentiments. According to local residents, a few persons were injured in the violence. Rapid Action Force [RAF] was deployed in the area. Tension started brewing when a member of one community allegedly posted a comment on social media hurting the religious sentiments of the other community. The situation flared up when the second group responded with a counter post. Members of the two communities took to the streets and resorted to vandalism. At least five persons were arrested. (The Hindu, 12/06/2017)

 

02nd July 2017, Basirhat, (North 24-Parganas)

Communal clashes broke out in North 24 Paraganas district of West Bengal over an “objectionable” post on Facebook, prompting the state government to rush 400 troops of paramilitary BSF to assist the police in containing the situation. There was no deployment of police in Baduria itself, the town in which the communal tension first erupted. Instead, 300 personnel from paramilitary forces were deployed along with RAF and local police in Basirhat, 15 km away, where the violence had spread.  The Hindu student was arrested on the same day of incident who allegedly circulated the post. Dozens of shops and houses, and at least six police vehicles, were torched by a mob. One person who was injured in the violence later died at a hospital. (Hindustan Times, 16/07/2017 and Indian Express, 06/07/2017)

 

Communal Riots in South Zone:

State No. of Date of Incident Killed Injured Arrested
Karnataka 1 0 0 14
Telangana 1 0 0 0
Grand Total 2 0 0 14

 

Communal Riots in Telengana:
Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured –
Total
Arrested –
Total
1 14 Tue, Mar 2017 Salempur Hyderabad 0 0 0

 

14th March 2017, Salempur, (Hyderabad)

Two failed attempts were made to communalize the Hyderabad City on the aftermath of UP Election. First in Salempur bait was kept in the church and later in a mosque’s mall “Jai Shree Ram” was found written. In both the cases police intervened and any further escalation was prevented. (Inquilab 14/03/2017)

 

Communal Riots in Karnataka:

 

Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured –
Total
Arrested
Total
1 08 Sat, Jul 2017 Bantwal Dakshina Kannada 0 NA 14

 

08th July 2017, Bantwal, (Dakshina Kannada)

Tensions ran high in Dakshina Kannada’s Bantwal after several people were injured and a few vehicles were damaged in stone throwing during the funeral procession of slain RSS worker Sharath Madivala who was murdered on 4th July. In spite of heavy police presence the riot broke out because some miscreants threw stones and soda bottles on the procession. Police arrested 14 people related to this incident. (Times of India, 09/07/2017)

 

Communal Riots in West Zone:

State No. of Date of Incident Killed Injured Arrested
Gujarat 4 1 34 0
Maharashtra 7 1 41 52
Grand Total 11 2 68 52

 

Communal Riots in Gujarat:
Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured
Total
Arrested
Total
1 30 Mon, Jan 2017 Surat Surat 0 NA 0
2 25 Sat, Mar 2017 Vadavali Patan 1 12 0
3 10 Thu, Aug 2017 Vadodara Vadodara 0 20 0
4 01 Sun, Oct 2017 Vadodara Vadodara 0 2 0

 

30th January 2017, Surat, (Surat)

On 30th January a head of dead calf was found in the residential area. This resulted in tension in the region. Some extremist taking advantage of this situation attacked the shops which belonged to a non-vegetarian person. Many people including 2 police were injured in this incident. As per police, the dead calf was eaten by the stray dogs and the dogs brought the head of calf to the area. (Inquilab, 31/01/2017)

25th March 2017, Vadavali, (Patan)

One person was killed and at least 12 were injured in a clash between two communities at Vadavali village in Gujarat’s Patan district following a scuffle between two students of Class 10 after their Board exams. Two students were climbing down the stairs in their school after their exams when one of them fell. This led to an argument that turned physical and other students joined in. The students alerted villagers and soon, a mob of around 5,000 people attacked the Muslim residents of Vadavali village, ransacked dozens of homes and torched around 20 houses, vehicles and other properties. A 25-year-old, Ibrahim Belim, was killed in the violence and at least five of the injured are said to be critical. Police fired more than seven rounds and lobbed dozens of tear gas shells to disperse the mob. A number of Muslim residents of Vadavali fled to neighboring villages and many took shelter at a medical college in the nearby Dharpur village. (Indian Express, 26/03/2017)

 

10th August 2017, Vadodara, (Vadodara)

Communal clashes broke out when the Ganesh Idol procession was passing through Mandvi area of the city. When it reached a crossroad, streetlights went off and the stone-pelting started. Several shops and some 40 vehicles parked in the area were damaged and set ablaze by the mobs. (Hindustan Times, 11/08/2017)

 

01st October 2017, Vadodara, (Vadodara)

Communal clashes broke out during Tazia procession while it was passing through the Panigate area. Some members from two different communities allegedly hurled abuses and threw stones at each other.  Police official present on the spot fired two rounds to disperse the mob and immediately brought the situation under control. Two persons were injured in firing. (First Post, 02/10/2017)

Communal Riots in Maharashtra:
Sr. No. Date of Incident Location District Killed –
Total
Injured –
Total
Arrested –
Total
1 01 Wed, Feb 2017 Malegaon Malegaon 0 4 0
2 01 Wed, Feb 2017 Jalna Jalna 0 0 17
3 01 Wed, Feb 2017 Kalyan Thane 0 2 0
4 02 Thu, Mar 2017 Chinawal Jalgaon 0 17 0
5 10 Fri, Mar 2017 Trombay, Mumbai Mumbai 0 17 18
6 10 Sat, Jun 2017 Nandurbar Nandurbar 1 0 1
7 14 Mon, Aug 2017 Narkhed Nagpur 0 1 16

 

01st February 2017, Malegaon, (Malegaon)

Right wing organization organized a rally for security of cow and the progeny. The rally went through a Muslim dominated area and forced them to close the shops which resulted in fight amongst them. Stones were pelted on Muslim shops. Muslims in other Hindu dominated areas were also attacked. (Inquilab 16/02/2017)

 

01st February 2017, Jalna, (Jalna)

At Malang Chowk, Partur, Jalna district, during Shiv Jayanti, some miscreants removed the green flag. The miscreants also beat up some youth, torched some houses and shops of Muslims and vehicles were also torched. Police arrested 17 people related to this incident. However, local allege that these are innocent which further worsened the situation. Jameet-Ul-Uleme distributed relief material to the victims. (Sahafat 21/2/2017 & 25/02/2017)

01st February 2017, Kalyan, (Thane)

The Kalyan region witnessed a communal tension when some extremists hit a Muslim boy and misbehaved with the Muslim women. However further escalation was prevented due to police arrival in the area. (Inquilab 16/01/2017)

02nd March 2017, Chinawal, (Jalgaon)

A small altercation over setting their ‘Tella‘ among street venders belonging to different communities led to communal tension in the chanwal villge. Soon the community members joined the fight, stone pelting followed from both the sides. 17 people got injured due to this. Houses and shops were also damaged in this incident. (Inquilab 02/03/2017)

10th March 2017, Trombay, Mumbai, (Mumbai)

Arvind Chinva, a resident of Cheetah Camp posted a morphed image of a Muslim religious site on Facebook. When the Muslim community of the area gathered around the police station and demanded his arrest, the police delayed it which resulted in agitation of the mob against the police. The mob of 150 assaulted the policemen and set a police vehicle on fire. The police reacted by using lathis, tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse the mob. They made 17 arrests including corporater of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Shahnawaz Hussain and two minors for rioting and attempting to murder. Arvind Chinva who posted the objectionable picture was arrested under section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Information Technology Act. (Times of India, 20/03/2017 and Scroll, 29/03/2017)

10th June 2017, Nandurbar, (Nandurbar)

On the night on June 4, Shabbir Pinjari, who ran an eating joint allegedly got into a confrontation with a customer, drunkard Sachin Marathe who refused to pay the bill. Marathe set Pinjari on fire with an inflammable liquid which he had in his possession. Pinjari was shifted to various hospitals and subsequently succumbed to his injuries. The news of his death created tension in the city and members of the Muslim community decided to close down their establishments in protest. Stones were subsequently pelted from both the sides in areas such as Balajiwada. Police had to fire tear gas to disperse the mob. (Indian Express, 11/06/2017)

 

14th August 2017, Narkhed, (Nagpur)

The changing of name of a WhatsApp group, posting of objectionable messages and then circulation of pamphlets calling for a social and economic boycott of Muslims in Narkhed led to communal tension. Police said a group of Muslims then allegedly attacked a member of the group, Subhash Waghe, a doctor, in his clinic for an alleged offensive post. Police and locals intervened and brought the situation under control. Police arrested 16 people from the Muslim community for the assault, and booked Waghe and others for posting “provocative” messages on the WhatsApp group. But angered by the attack on Waghe, unknown members of a rival group printed and circulated pamphlets calling upon Narkhed residents to boycott Muslims and stop business with them. Police registered a case against unknown persons (Indian Express, 14/08/2017).

 

[1][1] We are thankful to Prof. Indra Munshi and Prof. Nasreen Fazalbhoy for their valuable comments, inputs and consultation.

By |2018-04-28T11:17:10+00:00January 4th, 2018|Secular Perspective|Comments Off on 2017- A year of Hatred, Impunity and Heightened Identity Politics

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