2021: The year of atrocities on Muslim in India

The article is a compilation of the major anti-Muslim hate crimes and other atrocities in the year 2021.

With the strengthening of the Hindutva, Muslims across India have been dealing with persecution and discrimination on various fronts ranging from physical assault to prayer interruptions and so on. Aside from the violence, they have been dealing with accusations of “economic jihad”, “love jihad”, “land jihad”, “Corona jihad”. The list is as endless as the worry and anguish it causes the Muslim citizens residing in the country.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes in India have increased exponentially in the year 2021 with every month at least five major cases erupting in various parts of the country. Siasat.com has compiled a list of the various forms and kinds of discrimination meted out to the most populous minority in the country.

List of anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2021:

While all kinds of discrimination against Muslims in India fall under one category of discrimination or the other, it is worth noting that the nature of one crime varied from another. It of course goes without saying that these crimes were born out of Muslim hatred and aided in toto by the Hindutva brigade.

MS Education Academy

Namaz Disruptions:

November 15: Members of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) reportedly carried out a ‘purification’ ritual in Vastrapur lake garden, Ahmedabad, Gujarat where namaz had been offered. The VHP chanted mantras and sprinkled ‘Ganga jal’ there in an attempt to ‘purify’ the place.

But perhaps the most despicable display of prayer interruption started in October 2021 and is still ongoing. The Hindu right-wing has been disrupting Namaz or Friday prayers every week for the past few months in Gurgaon. The Hindutva groups have been protesting against the practice of Namaz in public spaces of the city since 2018. As a result, the 37 sites for Muslims to perform Namaz designated by the city administration were cut down to 20 after right-wing organizations kept causing chaos week after week.

Police Brutality

May: Two 17-year-old Muslims in Unnao within a span of ten days were subjected to custodial torture and eventually succumbed to the injuries as a result.

27 May: A 42-year-old man in Bulandshahr was allegedly thrown off the roof of his house by the police when they visited his house after midnight with respect to a case of illegal slaughter. Mohammad Aqeel Qureshi’s eight-year-old daughter, Summaiya stated that she was on the terrace when the incident took place, and claims that the police asked her father for money and when he refused, they started beating him up with pistol butts, and then held him by his legs before they flung him off the terrace.

December 2: A Muslim man Salman was detained in connection with a car battery theft case for three days in Varthur police station in Karnataka. He said that his “hand was amputated” after the injuries sustained during his “torture in police custody” got severely infected.

Early December: 23-year-old Tausif Pasha was forced to drink urine in custody. He said that three constables hit him “with a cricket bat at least 30 times and when I asked them for water to drink, they made me drink urine. They also cut my beard. I begged them not to do so as it was part of my faith, but they said this (police station) was not a religious center. They also made me clean the police station.”

Mob Attacks

March 16: 26-year-old Mubarak Khan was tied to a pole and beaten to death for allegedly stealing a motorcycle tyre in Maheshpur village, Sirka Panchayat of Ranchi District, Jharkhand. The complaint states that 20 identified and 25 unidentified persons brutally thrashed Mubarak with one Saheb Ram Mahato threatening Mubarak a few days prior to the incident. He is survived by three children.

October 9: A mob armed with iron rods attacked a Muslim family after they refused to move away from Pewday village of Madhya Pradesh which happens to be a Hindu-dominated area. This family of blacksmiths is said to be the only Muslim family in the village who shifted there two years ago. The police, however, filed an FIR against the family of 8 instead. An FIR against the mob attack was registered after the intervention of Ehtesan Hashmi, a Supreme court lawyer. “This is not the first time that the Indore police is trying to protect the accused. The police acted in the same manner in bangle seller Tasleem Ali’s case,” said Hashmi.

October 20: During the Navratri festival, VHP put up posters in Madhya Pradesh outside Garba venues stating “entry of non-Hindus is prohibited.” “A dispute erupted when a Muslim boy was spotted at a Garba venue in the Moti Bagh locality. This was objected by a Hindu teenager who had had a previous tiff with the Muslim boy’s family. Heated arguments turned into a brawl which got worse as adults got involved in the fight which saw stone pelting as well” Barwani police said on the communal clash which erupted in the district over the alleged presence of a 10-year-old Muslim boy near a Garba venue. Multiple such other instances have been noted in October 2021.

November 28: The story of Md. Adil, a 22-year-old mentally challenged man who was allegedly brutally beaten up and his cap thrown on the ground, and his beard pulled by his attackers is yet another horrifying instance.

November 29: A few Kashmiri tradesmen and few other migrant workers were forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Pakistan Murdabad’ in Jharkhand. Four of them were beaten up mercilessly.

Cow Vigilantism

May 23: Mohammed Shakir, a meat seller in UP’s Moradabad was mercilessly thrashed with a big stick by someone who calls himself a “gau rakshak” or a vigilante cow ‘protector. While the police did register a case against the attackers, they also filed a counter case against the victim for the charge of “mischief by killing an animal” and also arrested him. His attackers however were not apprehended.

June 4: In Mathura district’s Tumaula village in UP, Sher Khan alias Shera (55) was shot dead, and six of his associates were injured in an attack by a group of villagers of Tumaula village who had gotten information that these men were smuggling cows. The Additional SP told media persons that two injured men said, “they were transporting the cows from Aligarh to Mewat in Haryana”. Police claimed that two of the injured had a “history of cattle smuggling.” 

September 28: Two Muslim men were thrashed as they were suspected to be ferrying beef meat in Mathura. Self-appointed right-wing cow vigilantes committed the act. Police, however, fined the victims and arrested them after they were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Anti-Muslim hate speech:

November 24: An aspiring Hindutva leader Rajeev Brahmarshi announced on his Facebook page that “Weapons will reach every corner of #Hindustan.” “I have started sending weapons to every house of my Hindu brothers in every corner of the whole of India. There is a weapon in the hands of my deities, keep weapons in the temples,” he added.

December 24: Yati Narsinghanand, Hindutva flag bearer, and hate-monger organised a three-day conclave in Hardiwar in Uttarakhand that witnessed calls by Hindutva leaders to attack minorities, particularly Muslims, and their religious spaces.

Targeting Mosques:

October 5: Two dozen masked men belonging to a Hindutva group reportedly vandalised a Muslim dargah, Hazrat Bheda Peer Dargah Sharif, in Neemuch district of Madhya Pradesh. The attackers used explosives, damaging the structure, and also injured its caretaker, Khadim Noor Shah. The shrine suffered partial damage in the attack. Reportedly, the mobsters “left a pamphlet that threatens to kill nearby Muslims” if the tomb is rebuilt.

October 14: Roza Rozi dargah, a 15th-century Sojali monument along the banks of Vatrak river in Kheda district was reportedly desecrated by lighting lamps in the Dargah. A group allegedly belonging to Bajrang Dal people “lit lamps in the Dargah” and “worshiped with idols.” Even young boys were seen dancing in the video in the courtyard outside the main structure. Some alleged that even though police personnel were present at the location, they did not intervene.

October 22: As many as six mosques were vandalised by right-wing mobs in Tripura, claiming it to be retaliation for the anti-Hindu violence in Bangladesh. Hindutva organizations like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and Bajrang Dal reportedly vandalised over a dozen of houses and shops belonging to Muslims which led to the imposition of section 144 across the state.

Mosques in Krishnagar, Dharmanagar, Panisagar, Chandrapur were allegedly also attacked and desecrated.

Threats

September 17: A Muslim man and a Hindu woman who were riding together were allegedly harassed by two men in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The Muslim man was merely dropping off his colleague to her home when the two men stepped in and questioned as to why this Hindu woman was travelling with a Muslim man considering “the kind of times we live in.”

October 14: A minor boy accidently landed in the premises of the Dasna Temple in UP who was then “caught” by Yati Narsinghanand in the act. The boy told the police that he had come to visit his pregnant sister-in-law admitted to the community health centre (CHC) adjacent to the temple. Yati released a video in which he claimed, “Ye hamle ki tayari hai (this is in preparation of an attack)” and further defended his stance by saying “nobody has slapped the boy or anything”.

October 18: A young woman was forced to remove her burqa by a group of goons in Islam Nagar, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The group believed that the man she was riding with was a Hindu. One of the mobsters said, “Aap burqa utariye, aap humari qom ko badnaam karr rahe hai” (Remove your burqa, you are bringing disrepute to our community).

October 26: A social media clip chanting slogans against an attack on Muslims and terming them as traitors surfaced in late October. The video featured a Hindutva mob that included women who can seen raising slogans and posing for photos for cameras outside what is reportedly a Muslim-owned business. “If you want to stay in India, you will have to say Jai Sri Ram” was one of the slogans they used to threaten the Muslim community in India.

Early November – A video went viral of a man named Naresh Kumar Suryavanshi who was seen threatening a Muslim biriyani seller in Delhi’s Sant Nagar area. Naresh reportedly introduced himself as a member of the Hindu right-wing organization Bajrang Dal and threatened the shopkeeper to keep his business closed on Diwali. He reportedly told the workers of the shop that “Sant Nagar is a Hindu area” and goes on to threaten them from opening the shop on “any Hindu festival” else he will “set the shop on fire.” This led to the scared workers shutting down the biriyani shop.

Attacks on inter-faith marriages

September 28: The parents of a Hindu girl who fell in love with a Muslim boy, reportedly hired a hitman to kill 24-year-old Arbaz Aftab Mullah from the right-leaning Sri Rama Sena Hindustan. The girl’s family paid 5 lakhs to have Arbaz murdered, whose body was found decapitated on the railway tracks in Belagavi, Karnataka.

Out of the 6200 complaints received by the National Commission for Minority in the past three years, 70% were filed by Muslims. 40% of such complaints have been categorised as ‘Law and Order’ issues. None of them as yet, have been noted as ‘hate crimes’.

(Compiled by Marziya Sharif and Manogna Chandrika Matta)

Note: This is not a conclusive list of all the hate crimes against Muslims in India in 2021.

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