December diary: Anti-Muslim hate crime, Islamophobia dominates end of 2022

This article is a part of Siasat.com’s tracker of incidents of hate crimes and islamophobic incidents that took place against Muslims across India.

In November, a young Muslim engineering student was casually addressed as a terrorist by his teacher. This month witnessed a government school principal’s arrest for letting his students sing a popular poem called Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua, also known as Bachche ki Dua.

From having a cup of coffee with a friend from a different faith to the colour of a railway station, religious intolerance has solidified its presence in the country.

This article is a part of Siasat.com’s tracker of incidents of hate crimes and Islamophobic incidents that took place against Muslims across India.

MS Education Academy

List of incidents

On December 3, a video was circulated where a first-year Muslim student accused her history teacher of using Islamophobic slurs during the class. Hasina Bano, a student of MBR college in Balotra town in Rajasthan alleged that the teacher named Badam Singh while teaching a lesson on Gautam Buddha mentioned Muslims are ruthless and they have no remorse. A frustrated Bano left class and raised the issue with the college administration.

On December 5, the Jamia Masjid in Srirangapatna in the Mandya district of Karnataka witnessed a huge crowd of Hanuman devotees who tried to forcefully enter the mosque, turning out to be a hurricane task for the police force.

Further, a young Hindu devotee climbed atop a Muslim household where he replaced the green flag with the saffron one amidst chants of “Jai Shri Ram“.

The mosque has been a constant target for right-wing organisations who have persistently demanded it is replaced by a temple.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the Babri Mosque demolition, a leader from the right-wing organisation Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha was arrested on December 6 for trying to recite Hanuman Chalisa at the Shahi Masjid Idgah in the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi complex in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.

On December 10, the Jamia Masjid in Srirangapatna in Mandya district was again targeted as members of the right-wing organisation Hindu Jagran Vedike tried to barge into the mosque protesting against the arrest of a young Hindu man last week. The young man was arrested after replacing an Islamic flag with a saffron one atop a Muslim household.

On the same day, a video went viral from Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city that showed a Muslim man thrashed and paraded on the streets for allegedly having coffee with a female Hindu friend. The incident took place on November 20. The video shows members of the right-wing organisation Bajrang Dal slapping the Muslim man amid chants of “Jai Siya Ram”. The young man was finally taken into custody by the police. However, they declined to respond when Siasat.com tried to contact them regarding the incident.

In Karnataka’s Mangaluru city, members of Bajrang Dal, in the name of ‘love jihad’, attacked two young Muslim men for walking late at night in the town with two Hindu women, one being a minor from Uttar Pradesh. They accused the men of trapping the women with devious intentions. However, no complaint was registered against the Bajrang Dal.

On December 13, the Kalaburagi railway station, formerly known as Gulbarga railway station, was repainted to white from green after pressure from the right-wing Hindu organisation Hindu Jagaran Vedike. According to them, the dome shape with green walls gives an impression of a ‘mosque.’ They warned that if the colour was not removed within 15 days, the entire station will be painted in saffron.

On December 14, in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur city, a portrait of Bahadur Shah Zafar was smashed and destroyed by a few young men who reportedly belonged to a right-wing organisation. According to police, they visited a biriyani outlet and objected to the photo.

“They objected to it, saying why the picture of a ‘descendant of Aurangzeb’ had been hung on the wall and asked the eatery staff to remove it. The staff agreed, but the portrait was not removed. On Wednesday night, the group visited the eatery again, took down the portrait and smashed it up,” said a police official from Rajarampuri police station.

On December 15, in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district, a 45-year-old Muslim man was savagely assaulted by Bajrang Dal for holding a Hindu woman’s bag while she was deboarding a bus. He was forcibly dragged out of the bus and beaten ruthlessly. An FIR was lodged against three people.

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On December 16, Bajrang Dal members created a scene on a bus by objecting to a young Hindu woman travelling with her Muslim male friend. The couple were travelling from Mangaluru to Bengaluru. They were asked to get down at Dasakodi near Kalladka. Soon after, local police rushed to the spot and took them to safety.

On December 23, Bajrang Dal members interfered with Friday’s namaz in Gurugram’s Sector 69. In a video posted by Live Hindustan, Amit Hindu, a member of the Bajrang Dal, is heard saying, “It doesn’t matter if they have the authorization to pray at six spots or not. If prayers continue in the upcoming weeks, “We will step up the protests.”

On December 24, a principal of a government school in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district was reportedly arrested after right-wing groups lodged a police complaint of school children singing a popular Urdu poem, ‘lab pe aati hai dua banke tamanna meri’ in the morning assembly.

On the same day, in Uttar Pradesh’s Nutan Hardo village of Kushinagar district, 44 Muslim families received eviction notices from the local administration, claiming their houses were built on “encroached lands”. A report from India Tomorrow states that these families have been living there for generations.

According to the additional district magistrate (ADM) Padrauna Mahatma Singh, the notice was sent based on a complaint received to them by a few people in the village.

An FIR was filed on December 24 against Bajrang Dal members for allegedly raising provocative slogans during a rally held in Kerala’s Kannur district.

On December 25, three policemen of UP’s Budaun district were suspended in connection with beating up a Muslim man over an alleged case of buffalo theft. According to the victim Tanveer’s wife, the sub-inspector demanded a bribe of Rs 60,000 for his release.

On the same day. BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur from Madhya Pradesh said Hindus have the right to respond to those who attack them and their dignity, as she spoke about the killing of Hindu activists.

The MP representing Bhopal Parliamentary segment in Madhya Pradesh also called on the community to at least keep the knives in their homes sharp, as everyone has the right to protect themselves.

“Love jihad, they have a tradition of jihad, if nothing they do love jihad. Even if they love they do jihad in that. We (Hindus) too love, love the god, a sanyasi loves his god,” Thakur said.

On December 26, a video of two students offering namaz on the Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) campus in Gujarat’s Vadodara city went viral.

“Both were students of the second year B.Com. They offered namaz before going inside the building for exams. Since their exams are going on, the university administration will call them for counselling in the coming days to make them understand this is an educational institution and they should refrain from doing such activities on the campus,” said the university’s PRO Lakulish Trivedi.

On December 27, a huge protest was organised by members of the Muslim community in Mangaluru demanding justice for Abdul Jaleel, a shopkeeper who was stabbed to death on December 24. Preliminary investigations have shown that the murder may have a connection with a murder of a driver in the Katipalla region that took place 20 years ago. So far, four people have been arrested.

On December 27, Muslim residents of Gulmohar Colony in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain city have been asked to vacate their houses by the local municipal authority. The land will be used to organise Kumb Mela scheduled to take place in 2028.

According to the Muslim residents, they have been living there for the last 80 years and possess proper land documents.

“Proper legal procedure has been followed after which we built our homes here. We have been given notice by Nagar Nigam who is constantly announcing to vacate this area. We request the Collector to check our papers and decide,” said a resident.

Shah Rukh Khan-Deepika Padukone starrer movie Pathaan also made headlines in 2022 with the release of its first sone called “Besharam Rang” where the clothes worn by the actors were highly condemned by right-wing organisations and BJP politicians such as Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Singh and MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur.

December also witnessed widespread outrage against the scrapping of the MANU fellowship.

While the Centre’s cancellation the Maulana Azad National Fellowship which is mainly for minority students has seen protests from minorities who claim that the move by the Indian government was discriminatory, unjust and an attack on an individual’s proper access to higher education.

This is in no way an exhaustive list. The hate crime tracker for the previous months can be accessed below.

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