Atrocities on minorities: Ram Navami turns violent across India in April

This article is a part of Siasat.com's hate-crime tracker which chronicles atrocities against Muslims in India.

The month of Ramzan was an important time for members of the Muslim community. It is supposed to be a time of self-reflection, a return to simplicity and complete submission to God. However, Muslims across India suffered through the month as atrocities built up as April progressed, especially on and after Ram Navami, when Hindutva groups turned violent.

This article is a part of Siasat.com’s hate-crime tracker which chronicles atrocities against Muslims in India. The tracker chronicles everything from verbal discrimination, assault and lynching/murder each month in the year, and a report will be published

April 1:

MS Education Academy

New Delhi: A man by the name Shailendra Pratap Singh Jadaun complained to airport authorities after he was “offended” by seeing an “unwanted black stone” in the common prayer hall of the airport premises. In a series of pictures uploaded on Facebook, Pratap called it an “illegal” practice and filed a complaint.

April 4:

Posters calling for a ban on Muslim traders during a Hindu fair were spotted in Karnataka, this time in the Chikkmanglur district of the state. Amidst rising communal tensions, another set of banners calling for the economic boycott of Muslims during a 12-day religious fest was put up in Aldur village of the district.

April 7:

Bengaluru: After campaigning against the hijab, halal and banning Muslim traders in temple fairs, Hindu organisations in Karnataka planned a campaign to ban Muslim mango traders and sculptors from making idols of Hindu Gods.

April 7:

A 72-year-old Muslim woman shop owner was forced to shut down her shop at the historic Chennakeshava temple in Belur.

This came about soon after Karnataka BJP minister JC Maduswamy’s justified banning Muslim vendors within temple premises as per the rules of the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Department (HRICED), 2002.

April 8:

Controversy brewed around the historical Karaga festival celebrated in Bengaluru, which is seen as a symbol of Hindu-Muslim harmony, as Hindu organisations intensified their campaign to end the 300-year-old ritual of the Karaga procession visiting a dargah.

However, the Karnataka police issued a strict warning to the Hindu groups that any attempt to disrupt the Karaga festivities would be dealt with ruthlessly.

April 8:

A video of a saffron-clad seer delivering a hate speech against Muslims and inciting sexual violence against Muslim women, issuing rape threats, surfaced on social media on Thursday in Sitapur.

The two-minute video containing the hate speech is said to have been recorded on April 2 when the seer identified as Bajrang Muni Das, the mahant of Maharshi Shri Lakshman Das Udasin Ashram in Khairabad town, was taking out a procession on the occasion of Navratri and the Hindu New Year.

April 9:

Hindutva goons vandalized pushcarts of Muslim watermelon vendors in the Dharwad district. The incident took place outside a Hanuman temple, in Karnataka.

After raising slogans and boycotting Muslim traders, halal meat vendors and hijab-wearing students, the focus shifted to auto drivers in Karnataka.

Members of Hindu Jagarana Vedike (HJV) were seen distributing saffron flags to Hindu auto drivers in the Puttur district, on the occasion of Mahalingeshwar Jathra (local fair).

A video that surfaced on Twitter, showed members of the Hindutva outfit campaigning to boycott Muslim auto drivers. A driver receiving the flag is seen touching the feet of an aged member of the outfit.

April 10:

Hindutva slogans called for the establishment of a Hindu supremacy. Calls for violence were also raised at a Ram Navami rally headed by BJP MLA from Goshamahal Raja Singh on Sunday in Hyderabad. The rally commenced at the Rani Avanti Bhawan in Gangabowdi at 2 pm in the city.

Some police personnel and people were injured during stone-pelting in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone as per preliminary information. Khargone District Collector Anugrah P said section 144 of CrPC (banning assembly of four or more people) has been imposed in the entire city.

“Curfew has been clamped in three areas including Talab Chowk and Tavdi in the city,” he said, adding that incidents of minor arson took place following the pelting of stones.

Gujarat, where memories of the horrific 2002 pogrom against Muslims is still fresh in the minds of people, also witnessed a number of clashes where stones were pelted in Anand district’s Khambhat and Sabarkantha district’s Himmatnagar during a Ram Navami rally.

The clashes reportedly led to the death of a 65-year-old. The police used tear gas to bring the situation under control. A Mausoleum and a number of vehicles were also set on fire during the rally in the state, videos of which have surfaced online.

The state of Goa, known for its beaches and tourist locations, also witnessed clashes after Hindus carrying out a procession on the occasion of Sri Ram Navmi tried to enter Al Aqsa Masjid in Islampura at the time of iftar, alleging that someone from the masjid threw stones at the procession.

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The celebration of Ram Navami turned bloody in Goa after ten people were injured following clashes that broke out in the district on Sunday. Three were previously injured in the clashes and reports of one death emerged on Monday morning.

In West Bengal’s Bankur, three police officials were injured after a Ram Navami procession turned violent. Union minister Subhas Sarkar alleged that bricks were hurled at his vehicle, during the procession and blamed the Trinamool Congress government for the same.

In Karnataka, as a part of the Ram Navami celebrations, provocative songs, were played in front of Osmania Mosque in Raichur. The song played in the procession goes by the name “Banaaenge Mandir” (the temple shall be built) on YouTube. The video that plays in the background of the video is the footage of the Babri Masjid demolition.

A 55-year-old Muslim man was lynched to death in Beawar, in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district, on April 3, a day after communal riots broke out in Karauli where 40 shops, belonging to Muslims, were attacked following a bike rally that turned violent.

Ram Navami Shobha Yatra has passed off peacefully in Hyderabad on Sunday amid tight security. However, Hindutva slogans calling for the establishment of Hindu supremacy along with calls of violence were raised during the yatra. Slogans like “Har minar pe lagaenge Hindu ka jhanda” (Every pillar will have a Hindu flag), as well as “talwar uthega” (swords will be raised), was witnessed.

April 11:

Students belonging to left-parties in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) were attacked by members of the Akhila Bharatiya Vidya Parishad (ABVP) on Sunday on the occasion of Ram Navami. Several students along with the mess secretary are reported to be injured.

Lohardaga: One person died and around 12 people sustained injuries as violence broke out during a Ram Navami procession in Jharkhand’s Lohardaga district, an official said on Monday.

Soon after religious leader Bajrang Muni was criticized for his offensive remarks against Muslim women, the seer went a step further by flashing his private parts on camera. Muni is the mahant of Maharshi Shri Lakshman Das Udasin Ashram in Khairabad town of Sitapur district.

In the video, one can see Muni speaking to a person and suddenly flashing his private parts into the camera adding, “I (will) give it in the mouth. I don’t feel ashamed.”

April 12:

Bengaluru: Amid all the din and commotion in Karnataka following ban calls on Muslim traders by Hindutva groups, the ruling BJP government is all set to clear temple premises in Karnataka of Muslim vendors, according to sources.

Already, the state government had declared on the floor of the House that there is no provision for non-Hindus to carry out their business on temple premises and religious fairs.

April 15:

A large number of videos surfaced on social media, reflecting the brutality of police on Muslims in Madhya Pradesh following the riots that broke out in Khargone during a Ram Navami rally. Parts of the riot-hit city have been placed under curfew under Section 144 to ensure peace.

Over 60 Hindutva goons reportedly barged into the house of a Muslim family in a village eight kilometers from Khargone town, Madhya Pradesh, and attacked them with stones as the family was about to break fast for Iftar on Tuesday evening.

Bareilly: Two people have been booked here for allegedly hampering the national integration by playing songs on a mobile phone hailing Pakistan, police said on Thursday.

15 April 2022: Right-wing mob on Friday set ablaze two houses belonging to the family of a Muslim man accused of kidnapping a Hindu woman, who said in a video clip that she went willingly with him.

April 18:

Roorkee: After communal violence broke out in Uttarakhand’s Roorkee, Hindu Raksha Vahini, a right-wing organization, has demanded the demolition of Muslim homes. The organization threatened to organize Dharm Sansad in the city in two days if their demands were not fulfilled.

April 19:

A video from Chhatarpur city of Madhya Pradesh went viral on Twitter showing a narrator named Pandit Dhirendra Krishna Shashtri spewing hate against the Muslim community.

April 21:

The Telangana Congress party staged a massive dharna in Hyderabad reiterating its call for a boycott of the Iftar party to be hosted by chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) and demanded that the TRS government provide jobs and loans to the minority communities.

Following the unrest in Roorkee where communal violence took place on April 16, right-wing organisation Kali Sena called for violence and said that if Muslims were not defeated, they will “protest aggressively.”

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April 25:

With Akshaya Tritiya round the corner, Hindu outfits in Karnataka urged people not to purchase gold from jewelry shops owned by Muslims on the day of the festival.

April 26: Muslim men were lynched by Hindutva cow vigilante gangs amid rumors of cow smuggling in Mewat.

April 29:

Seven people were arrested after they allegedly threw pieces of pork, letters abusing Muslims and torn pages of an Islamic text at some mosques in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya in an attempt to instigate communal violence, said the police.

Lucknow: Close to 22,000 unauthorized loudspeakers were removed from religious places and volume of over 42,000 was set to permissible limits across Uttar Pradesh following a government order, a senior police official said on Thursday.

This is in no way an exhaustive list. The hate crime tracker for the months of January, February and March can be accessed below.

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