News Analysis |
Few right-wing groups, and the local traders’ body in Uttarakhand’s Agastyamuni town, on Friday, vandalized up to 15 shops owned by Muslim traders in the town, after a fake video was shared on social media along with statements alleging that a 10-year-old Hindu girl had been raped by a Muslim man in the town.
At least 2,000 persons gathered near the police station at Agastyamuni, on Friday morning, demanding justice for the alleged rape victim. Simultaneously, up to 15 shops of Muslim traders were vandalized by the agitators, including people from the town’s traders’ body, a local students’ group Jai Ho, and members of the ABVP.
Most Hindutva extremists spread Islamophobia by exerting hatred within the Indians against the Muslim minority in India. The extremists compare the Muslim population of India with their “archenemy “Pakistan.
“The shops (of Muslim traders) were emptied, and the assets in them, including mobile phones, watches, clothes, and vegetables, were thrown onto the streets and burnt by the agitating groups. However, no one was hurt,” Tripti Bhatt, who currently holds the charge of Rudraprayag district’s Superintendent of Police (SP), said. After the incident of vandalism, Rudraprayag district magistrate Mangesh Ghildiyal posted a video on social media clarifying that the video that was going viral over social media was “fake”.
“The faces of the people in the video are not clear. Neither the man nor the woman in the video has been identified. Also, we have not received any complaint of a rape in Agastyamuni. We are searching for the people who have been spreading fake news of rape over social media…strict action will be taken against them,” Ghildiyal said in the video. Agastyamuni falls on the way to the Kedarnath shrine at 70 kilometers from the shrine, and for the locals the incident was the first ever communal incident in the town that they had ever witnessed.
Gajendra Rautela, an Agastyamuni local said, “Agastyamuni has a small Muslim population. Many Muslim traders whose shops were vandalised have been born and brought up in Agastyamuni… I had not witnessed any communal incident in the town until today (Friday). What happened today was shocking.”
After the incident FIRs were registered in the Agastyamuni police station against the people who vandalized public and private property, and against people spreading the fake video on social media. “Few people were arrested (on Friday), and many are yet to be traced,” Bhatt said.
The local traders’ body in Uttarakhand’s Agastyamuni town, on Friday, vandalized up to 15 shops owned by Muslim traders in the town, after a fake video was shared on social media along with statements alleging that a 10-year-old Hindu girl had been raped by a Muslim man in the town.
India’s descent into brutal mob attacks under the BJP government has disturbed many. The fact that most of the victims belong to minorities points to religiopolitical machinations. For the last 30 months, a climate of fear and insecurity is created by repeated, deliberate, divisive and provocative statements. Empowered Hindutva fundamentalists are seeking to impose a single uniform ethic in diverse domains such as food, dress, culture or thinking.
With the rise of the Hindutva fundamentalist BJP to power in 2014, Hindutva militants have become prominent in most parts of India. These brutal militants have enacted savage murders of mainly Muslims on various reasons such as “Gau Raksha” (Cow protection) and “Love Jihad”. In the name of protecting Hindus, Saffron terrorists have unleashed violence in several parts of India. Increasing incidents of ‘mob lynching’ and the silence of the Modi government has encouraged more hate groups and terrorists who have struck fear into the hearts of Muslims and the lower-caste Indians.
On account of the brutal killings of Muslims – from Mohammed Akhlaq (on September 28th, 2015) to Ahmed Bashir (on January 8th, 2018) – the minority community feels insecurity in every part of the country. The roots of this hate lie in the rise of extremist Hindutva thought and the machinations of the British colonial masters.
Most Hindutva extremists spread Islamophobia by exerting hatred within the Indians against the Muslim minority in India. The extremists compare the Muslim population of India with their “archenemy “Pakistan. This helps them to polarize society and convert animosity into votes and popular support. It is through such perception management that often Hindutva militants get away with horrific atrocities and eventually are hailed as “guardians” of Indian Hindus.