Thursday, May 23, 2024

Attacking Muslims show a disturbing pattern

In last two months, three instances of mob violence by Muslim rioters against Hindu community have come to light. The despicable events took places in cities in diverse cities such as Kolkata, Mathura and New Delhi. Alarmingly, though the incidents and venues and rioters are unrelated, the methodology is eerily similar.

Initially, one or two persons of Muslim community pick up a fight with a member of the majority community. They then go away only to return with a mob of armed and violent rioters, attacking the people and property of Hindus, shouting religious slogans and thus transforming a minor incident into a communal flare up.

The most horrific of course has been the one at Lal Kuan near Chawri Bazaar in Old Delhi where a 100-year-old Durga temple was vandalized, idols of Hindu gods broken to pieces. First Aas Mohammed, a 20-year-old youngster parked his scooter in front of a building on June 30. The owner of the building, Sanjeev Gupta, objected and a scuffle broke out. A little later, Aas Mohammed returned with a mob, grabbed Gupta by his collar and ransacked the house. The same fate was reserved for neighbouring houses and their owners. Later, the Durga temple was vandalized.

In May, in crowded Chowk Bazar in Mathura, four youths visited a popular lassi shop and refused to pay up. The owner of the shop, Bharat Yadav, wouldn’t budge. The youngsters came back with a group of 25-30 people and attacked Bharat Yadav with lathis, rods and knives. Yadav was taunted with “kafir” remarks and beat him up mercilessly. Yadav died due to his injuries thereafter.

Now recollect the Kolkata incident. Junior doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital was attacked in early June. The doctors allege they were beaten by a group of about 200 men who came in trucks when the 75-year-old patient, Mohammad Sayeed, who was brought in a critical condition, passed away at the hospital. The doctors went on strike immediately, following inaction by the Kolkata police against the rioters.

So a similar pattern in three incidents could be detected: perpetrators first withdraw from the scene of hostility and come back with a gang of hooligans and rioters. They then carry out the crime with impunity. The idea seems to generate communal flare-up.

Another common factor is political patronage the rioters feel confident about. Imran Hussain, Aam Aadmi Party’s MLA Imran Hussain was present with the Muslim mob in Lal Kuan incident in the Capital. Similarly, in Mathura, the attackers boasted of having a backing of Samajwadi Party leader. In Kolkata too, the arrests of the perpetrators occurred only when doctors from across the country joined ranks with their Kolkata fellow practitioners.

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