First, the Campus Front of India (CFI) posted the fake news of “anti-Muslim clashes” on social media platforms and, two hours later, its parent Islamic organisation, the Popular Front of India (PFI), added its noise to the din, making up stories about clashes during the Ram Navami festival where the attacking Muslim mobs were presented as the victims. Describing one of the incidents as a “pre-planned attack against Muslims by the Hindutva goons”, the Abdul Salam-led Islamic body appealed to the state governments to take stringent measures against “these goons”.
“Hindu religious festivals are being misused as occasions for unleashing hate and violence,” said the PFI in a press release.
The CFI has surfaced on the scene again when several reports from different cities across the country narrate incidents of violence, rioting and war of words between Hindus and Muslims. On Sunday, clashes had erupted in different cities of the country and also on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus as Muslims attacked Hindu processions on Ram Navami in the towns whereas a bunch of communist students, in a mark of protest, tried to desecrate the puja organised by the ABVP inside the university in Delhi.
PFI adds to CFI propaganda
The PFI has alleged silence on the part of authorities, even as Facebook, always quick to pull down pro-Hindu content from its news feed, keeps tolerating uploads of the misleading image of a youth hoisting a saffron flag atop a minaret of a mosque, which an embarrassed Digvijaya Singh of the Indian National Congress (INC) deleted after passing it off as an incident that occurred in Madhya Pradesh.
“Authorities and police are not doing anything to prevent the violence, but in certain stances, they aided and abetted the mobs,” the PFI said.
“The silence and inaction of the secular democratic forces over these developments are disappointing and this lack of response amounts an encouragement to Hindutva outfits,” the Islamist outfit remarked.
The assertion by the PFI flies in the face of the efforts by the governments of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha etc coming down heavily on rioters.
At JNU, communist students challenged ABVP activists by bringing meat at the venue where the students’ union of the RSS had organised a puja for Ram Navami, the Kaveri hostel.
The JNU administration told reporters that a “scuffle” ensued on campus after ‘havan’ (Hindu ritual of burning offerings) inside the hostel. Hindus raised objections to the violation of the sanctity of the occasion with meat.
Khargone, Madhya Pradesh
Meanwhile, a day after a large mob of Muslim residents stoned a Hindu procession in a town of Madhya Pradesh, Khargone, the state municipal authorities demolished 16 houses and 29 shops in five localities, which were illegal, housing Muslim families that had attacked the procession. The police arrested 84 suspects in connection with this incident and the Madhya Pradesh government vowed to recover damages from the rioters as per the Prevention of Damage to Public and Private Property and Recovery of Damages Act.
Pawan Sharma, Divisional Commissioner of Indore said, “Khargone administration has decided to demolish the properties of stone pelters during the Ram Navami procession. Police have brought the situation under control. 84 accused have been arrested. Curfew has been imposed in Khargone.”
As many as four houses and three shops near Mohan Talkies, 12 houses and 10 shops in Khaskhas Badi area, three shops in Aurangpura area and 12 shops in Talaab Chowk were demolished. Approximately 16 illegal sites were demolished near Ganesh Temple in Khargone.
Aggrieved over the order that only five people could participate in a procession, a group proceeded towards a Hanuman temple with flags, which was intercepted midway by a handful of Muslims, following which a clash erupted. The two groups hurled stones and glass bottles at each other, hurting also the police and administrative officials.
Police immediately swung into action and resorted to a lathi charge and imposed prohibitory orders to control the riot.
Anticipating more trouble, the Keonjhar district administration imposed Section 144 in Joda town till 10 a.m. on Tuesday. All shops and business establishments were closed down as news about the clash spread.
Earlier in Rajasthan’s Karauli, Muslims threw stones at a bike rally of Hindus on Nav Samvatsar (first day of the Vikram Samvat) on 2 April, leaving 35 people injured. Several vehicles and shops were set on fire.
Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) chief Tejasvi Surya said on Wednesday that the religious rights of Hindu people in Rajasthan were not protected, directly taking a swipe at the Ashok Gehlot-led government over the stone-pelting incident in Karauli on April 2.
Surya said, “Hindus cannot take out religious procession; stones are pelted on them. Their lives are in jeopardy in Rajasthan.”
Earlier today, hundreds of BJYM members were stopped and detained by the Rajasthan Police while on their way to Karauli.
The BJP youth wing chief, who was on his way to meet the victims in the Karauli stone-pelting incident, has called his and state party chief Satish Poonia’s detention a hallmark of dictatorship. He also pointed out that the BJP workers, who have been detained, were 40 km away from the spot where the violence broke out.