Fact-finding report blames Hindutva forces for Chengicherla violence

The report published by the Human Rights Forum (HRF) highlighted that the recent incident is not the first time that communal violence occurred in the area but took place first during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival last year.

Hyderabad: A fact-finding report published by the Human Rights Forum (HRF) blamed Hindutva forces led by activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for the communal violence that occurred in Pittalabasthi, Chengicherla village on Sunday evening, March 24.

The report stated that the conflict began when RSS activists played Hindutva-Pop or H-Pop songs like “Hum Se Panga Le Na Bete, Hindu Dharam Ke Sher Hai re Chote” (Don’t mess with us you son, We are Hindu faith’s lions, you little one) on loudspeakers during Namaz time in the afternoon on Sunday.

“The music was turned off after objections from Muslims. But later in the evening, the same music was played as Muslims were leaving the mosque after Namaz, leading to verbal altercations and a physical brawl, resulting in injuries on both sides,” it said.

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Police take charge

On information, the police arrived at the scene, dispersed the warring groups and detained individuals.

“They were later sent to remand. The number of individuals remanded by the police was not known,” the report said.

The following day, state BJP president and Union minister G Kishan Reddy, along with Eatala Rajender, visited Pittalabasthi and advocated the narrative that Hindus were facing injustice, it further said.

On March 27, Wednesday, BJP MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar, Bajrang Dal, and other Hindutva group workers tussled with the police and entered the area by breaching the barricades. “Videos of the incident widely circulated on social media,” it added.

The report stated that the success of the police in preventing BJP MLA T Raja Singh and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi from reaching the area and delivering speeches helped in preventing further deterioration of the situation.

Muslim men move away from Basthi

The fact-finding team found that, after the incident, Muslim men in the basthi moved away from the area.

“We got to know that Namaz wasn’t allowed to take place in the Basthi’s mosque for two days. 50-100 law and order police personnel and special force personnel are holding 24*7 vigil in the area. Mutton business (which is the predominant occupation in the area) is being allowed only between 4 am and noon time. A curfew situation is evident about 250 meters around the area,” the report read.

Not the first time

The HRF report highlighted that the recent incident is not the first time that communal violence occurred in the area but happened first during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival last year.

“Hindu-Muslim conflict began during Ganesh Chathurthi last year. So the police, to avert such incidents, held a meeting with both sides at the beginning of Ramzan and requested that no such incident take place again. All of the basthi dwellers are Mutton vendors. There is a tradition of celebrating Holi a day before the actual date here for the business to go uninterrupted on the day of the festival,” the report said.

About Pittalabasthi

The report stated that the area was named ‘Pittalabasthi’ due to the major presence of Pittalollu caste families, who are part of the Pardhi tribe (traditionally, a wandering tribe of game and bird hunters).

“The number of Muslims here is low. According to locals, communal harmony is the general sentiment. Both Hindus and Muslims base their livelihood on the slaughterhouse in the area,” it added.

The HRF also said that, due to the imposition of Section 144 in the area, its team failed to meet and understand the situation of the victims of violence.

HRF blames BJP-RSS Hindutva forces for violence

The fact-finding committee squarely blamed the RSS-BJP for the violence and termed the Chengicherla incident as “an example of politics around Hindutva.”

“It is sad that during Ramzan, the holy month of Muslims, BJP and its affiliated organisations are behaving in such an irresponsible manner. The Mandir Wahi Bane Denge song has grown into Hindutva pop. From the past to now, there has been no change in Hindutva’s approach…” the HRF said.

The HRF also remarked that religion-based political parties are using the incident to garner votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The HRF commended the Medipally police for their proactive approach in addressing potential conflicts and engaging with both parties. However, it urged the state government to organize cultural programs to raise awareness among the public about the impacts of these conflicts and who stands to lose or gain from them.

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