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Demolitions, rapes, lynchings : Atrocities against Muslims in August

New Delhi: August 2022 bore witness to a series of atrocities against Muslims with demolitions in Assam at the forefront. The spread of communalism has tightened its tentacles even as India entered her 76th year of Independence.

The following are the chronicles of the atrocities against Muslims in India.

August 1: ‘Har Har Shambhu’, sung by Farmani Naaz is a Hindu devotional song on Kanwar Yatra. It ran into a controversy with its anti-Muslim lyrics. A Deoband cleric termed it as “un-Islamic” and “haram” (forbidden). However, the singer defended herself by stating ‘artistic freedom’. Naaz is a resident of Muzaffarnagar, Uttra Pradesh.

August 1: A mob thrashed a 35-year-old man to death at Chakhabi in Bihar’s Samastipur district for allegedly trying to steal cattle. The incident came to light after a video of the lynching went viral and prompted police to deploy additional forces at Chalabi.

August 2: A 50-year-old man was beaten to death by a mob on suspicion of cattle smuggling in the Narmadapuram district of Madhya Pradesh. Two men were injured in the attack. All three are from Amravati in Maharashtra.

Speaking to reporters, Lala, one of the injured said he along with the deceased – Nazir Ahmed – and Mushtaq was transporting cattle from Nandanbada village to Amravati to sell them at a cattle market.

August 4: Masjid Khwaja Mahmood in Shamsabad, Telangana, was martyred by the local municipal corporation in the presence of a heavy police force, following which local Muslim leaders along with common people protested. Pajangana Namaz was always offered in the three-year-old mosque.

August 4: Madrasa Jamiul-Huda located in Morigaon, Assam, was demolished following the arrest of a madrasa operator, Mufti Mustafa. He was arrested on charges of involvement in terrorist activities, police said. Meanwhile, according to Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma nearly 800 madrasas have been closed by the state government.

August 7: A shrine (Dargah) was demolished by unknown persons in the Lohamandi area of Agra, Uttar Pradesh. According to eyewitnesses, there was an electricity cut, and shortly after the mazar was demolished with a bulldozer by unknown persons. The apartment is currently closed by the police.

August 8: Four men – Abdul Rajjak, Jiyaul Laskar, Akbar Khan and Saidul Munsi – died in judicial custody at the Baruipur Central Correctional Home, South 24 Parganas district, West Bengal. They were picked up by the police in separate cases in the last week of July. Alleging foul play, the deceased men’s families suspect they were tortured to death by the police.

August 9: In Bulandshahr’s Gulavathi police station area, Bajrang Dal workers brutally thrashed a young man named Sahil Siddiqui for posting a video of a girl on Instagram. However, Sahil’s father said his son was falsely targeted.

August 10: Karnataka police filed an FIR against a Hindu activist for issuing a statement that Idgah tower located on the premises of the controversial Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru will be destroyed. Chamarajpet police booked a case against Bhaskaran, the president of Vishwa Sanatan Parishad for issuing the statement and trying to create communal discord in society.

August 17: Three Muslim families were attacked by men associated with the Hindutva groups on August 16, after a Muslim man named Baidul Kadir reportedly made an objectionable Facebook post against a Hindu deity. Kadir was arrested soon after. Angry mob had demanded the demolition of Kadir’s house which was not entertained by the district authorities.The incident took place at Dhanpuri town of Shahdol district in Madhya Pradesh.

August 18: On January 17, 19-year-old Sameer Shahpur was brutally murdered by members of Bajrang Dal. His friend, Shamsheer Khan Pathan, was also injured in the attack. The two men hailed from Naragund, Karnataka. Sameer’s father 52-year-old Subhansaab Shahpur who has been fighting for justice received death threats from three men who also belonged to Bajrang Dal.

Police filed an FIR under IPC sections 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt).

“Withdraw case against Bajrang Dal members”: Father of lynched Karnataka Muslim man faces death threats

August 20: Two minor Muslim girls, aged five and nine, were kidnapped and raped by a 25-year-old man named Kapil Kashyap. He then proceeded to murder one of them. Police said that Kashyap took the girls on a bicycle on the pretext of buying them ice cream. While the elder sister’s body was recovered from a farm, the younger sibling was found alive in a sugarcane field the same day. The incident happened in Ghaziabad’s Modinagar area of Uttar Pradesh.

August 25: After a Muslim fisherman, Maniruzzaman, was killed along the India-Bangladesh border in Assam’s south Salmara district, locals alleged that he was shot by a Border Security Force personnel. The incident took place in Gudoli village.

Assam: Muslim Fisherman shot dead near Bangladesh border, locals allege BSF personnel fired

August 29: A village in Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh remained tense over for two days after a local mosque was damaged during a protest against an interfaith relationship. According to reports, 20-year-old Saifi eloped with 19-year-old Ritika, who is a Dalit. This triggered tensions in Uday Nagar village and the surrounding regions. A complaint was filed by the girl’s family against Saifi.

August 29: Nearly 26 Muslims were booked for offering namaz in a house by the Moradabad police. According to officials, prayers were conducted without prior permission from the local authorities. The complaint was filed by a Hindu man named Chandra Pal Singh.

“Scores of people assembled at the house of two local villagers in Dulhepur village in Chhajlet area without any notice and offered prayers. They had been cautioned in the past not to indulge in such a practice at home, following objections from neighbours belonging to another community,” Superintendent of Police (rural), Moradabad, Sandeep Kumar Meena said to reporters.