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Tit for Tat: Chapra’s Muslims Made to Pay for Inciteful Video by Bajrang Dal in Bihar

Chapra

Chapra: The nasty face of communal hatred was unveiled in Chapra town on Saturday afternoon (August 6) when scores of Bajrang Dal activists following the dictum of “hit them where it hurts the most” allegedly looted, vandalised and burnt shops, all belonging to Muslims, crippling many in the community economically. The total damage of goods in the establishment alone is estimated to be at about Rs 1.5-2 crores. Four of the shops attacked belonged to Balaghul Mobin, chairman of the RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) from Chapra.

While sections of the affected communities, talking to Sabrangindia have put the damage by arson loot and burning to have affected 54 establishments, SP, Saran, Pankaj Kumar Raj speaking to Sabrangindia said that only about 15 shops were attacked and destroyed. He added that 15 FIRs against 100 people for causing the violence and the district administration discontinued Internet services till Monday, August 8.

IG Kundan Krishnan, a senior officer of the Bihar police was immediately brought in by the state government to restore confidence of the affected sections. Speaking to Sabrangindia in Mumbai he said that the administration has already issued a warrant against the youth from Maker, with criminal antecedents responsible for making the incendiary video viral and will do everything to ensure speedy action. “Unfortunately the local community lost faith in the administration and damage and destruction was caused by a lumpen element but things are getting slowly back to normal.” Fortunately also, this area, Saran district, has no history of communal violence, the IG added.

The trouble reportedly began when a video depicting a youth from Maker (located 20 km from Chapra) — and who has since been tracked down to being somewhere in Karnataka– showed him desecrating Hindu deities and this video went viral. The authorities are doing what they can to track down this dangerous mischief mongering.

In immediate and overt reaction to this objectionable video, Bajrang Dalis began a mobilisation of sections of the Hindu community on ‘hurt sentiments” and finally, allegedly unleashed their ire on in reaction, to Chapra’s Muslims. Residents of Chapra have accused the local police of complicity since the police thana (police station) is just 20 metres from where the arson and loot took place. Over 35 criminal complaints have been made to the local police that have been ‘received’ and now registered as FIRs, say residents.

Local residents have sent photographs to Sabrangindia:

Saturday, August 6, was when the supremacist Hindutva outfit organized ‘Mashaal Rallies’ with 500 Bajrang dalis on motor bkles moving around the town, and finally announced a Chapra bandh on Saturday. The burning and arson took place at the famous Hathwa market which is located just 20 minutes from the police station. Survivors who spoke to Sabrangindia said that it was the shops of Muslims that were selectively destroyed in the violence at the Hathwa market, after which the rioters proceeded to the Municipality Chowk and looted many mobile shops again belonging to Muslims. In the violence, the main gate of the Sahebganj Jama Masjid was also damaged; there are also yet unconfirmed reports of the some portions of the sacred text of the Quran being destroyed.

Women arsonists were also allegedly part of the mob that did not even spare police vehicles and also attacked the IG Kundan Krishnan, who was sent from Patna by the Nitish government to  control the situation. Finally, the state government called in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Rapid Action Force (RAF) to control the situation.

There are serious apprehensions that and concerns about the silence of the local MLA, CN Gupta and the local Member of Parliament, Rajeev Pratap Rudy. In the 2014 parliamentary elections, Rabri Devi, wife of Laloo Yadav had contested from Chapra and the rival candidacy of Salim Parvez, Deputy Speaker of the JD(U) had resulted in some votes of the minority going to him. Chapra has been the strong Muslim-Yadav base of scion of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar and hence these developments have a significance. Besides, the Uttar Pradesh border is barely 14 kilometres away, an especial worry given that polls are due in India’s most populous state early in 2017 Patna, the capital is also very close by.

 

Courtesy: SabrangIndia

 

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