Several accounts of police brutality against protestors condemning the remarks on Prophet Muhammad by suspended BJP spokespersons have surfaced on social media. After the protests that erupted in many parts of the country, turned violent, police personnel unleashed their batons on those accused of rioting, apart from firing bullets at the protestors.
Two young Muslims were killed and several were injured, in Ranchi, after police opened fire at the protestors, in an attempt to “control the mob”.
Situations were out of control, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, where several videos surfaced on Twitter where cops can be seen brutally assaulting Muslim men, including minors.
Here are some of them:
Muslims who were accused of ‘rioting’ and detained in Uttar Pradesh were brutally thrashed by the cops. The video was posted by Dr. Shalabh Mani Tripathi, who is a BJP MLA from Dwarika. In his Tweet, he wrote, “‘Return Gift’ to the Rebels”.
This video is from Ranchi, Jharkhand where a terrified minor, in a white kurta, gets caught in between police and the protestors. He is visibly frightened and carefully approaches a policeman, who is holding a lathi, for help.
Initially, the policeman seems to “understand the minor’s situation” but he then takes him to his colleagues who immediately start beating him. The terrified child runs away miraculously escaping a stone thrown his way.
The next video shows a policeman firing without any hesitation at the protestors. One can also hear other police personnel encouraging him to fire by saying, “Maro Maro Maro” (fire at them) and “Sir, mariye na sir,” which is followed by abuses hurled at the protestors.
Another video from Prayagaraj, Uttar Pradesh surfaced on Twitter, where Muslim men are seen running away, trying to escape being thrashed by the UP police. The police are seen forcibly taking them away in police vehicles.
The state government and district administration in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir have suspended internet services for more than 24 hours. Although the police say the situation is “under control”, there is a sense of growing unrest.
What led to the protests and police brutality against the minority:
The protests erupted following Friday prayers where Muslims gathered to raise their voice against the ‘blasphemous’ and insensitive remarks over Prophet Muhammad, by two suspended BJP leaders – Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.
Initially, there was no action taken against them and the BJP-led Central Government remained mute. However, trouble began when Arab and Muslim majority countries started condemning the Indian government and decided to boycott Indian goods.
The Indian government started repairing the damage by suspending the two leaders and then issuing a global statement distancing themselves from the “fringe elements”. However, with the global condemnation, the locals in India opined that a mere suspension was not enough and demanded the immediate arrest of Sharma and Jindal.
Call for protest started gathering momentum in different states of India and on June 10, after the Friday prayers, many states including West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Delhi registered protests by members of the Muslim community that allegedly turned violent after clashing with police personnel.