Hyderabad: Post the assault on a Muslim bangle seller in Indore by fourteen men and the subsequent arrest of three of them, hundreds of people gathered at Regal Chauraha in Indore under the banner of Hindu Jagran Manch and raised slogans against the police action taken on the alleged culprits. The protestors went on to chant anti-Muslim slogans and called for “traitors to be shot”.
The protest on Tuesday witnessed participants waving saffron flags and raising slogans like Bharat Mata Jai, “Hindustan main rehna hoga, Jai shree ram kehna hoga” and other such statements according to media reports. The protestors handed over a memorandum alleging that anti-national incidents and incidents against a particular community are taking place regularly.
The “protestors” allege that despite knowledge of these incidents, the police refuse to take action. The memorandum mentioned pelting of stones during an Independence Day function, eve-teasing of minor girls, and incidents of “luring young girls by men by hiding their true identity”.
On Sunday, a video surfaced on social media, which showed 25-year-old bangle seller Tasleem Ali getting assaulted in Indore. The video shows Tasleem being beaten up while unidentified voices could be heard using communal slurs at him. He was alleged of using using two different names and hiding his identity. The bangle seller alleged that the mob had robbed him of Rs 10,000 which he had earned and broke his bangles and other possessions.
Reacting to the incident, former union finance minister P Chidambaram took to Twitter and wrote, “Ghaziabad, Kanpur and now Indore. Who are these persons who are emboldened to decide what is right and what is wrong?
Chidambaram also slammed the Madhya Pradesh home minister for justifying the mob violence. “If the State Home Minister will justify mob violence and vigilante justice, why is he remaining in the chair of Home Minister?” He wrote in a tweet.
State home minister Narottam Mishra had given a controversial statement after the incident stating that the bangle seller was beaten up as he used a wrong name to hide his identity and had two different Aadhaar cards. He also said that there was no reason to communalize the issue otherwise.
“He was using a Hindu name, though he belonged to a different community. He also had two different Aadhaar cards… he was selling bangles which our daughters wear and apply henna during sawan (monsoon)… that’s how the altercation started,” the minister said.
In this month alone, Muslim men have been subjected to harassment and violence in three major cases which received media coverage. In Muzzafarnagar, Kranti Sena attempted to prevent Muslim men from getting hired. In Kanpur, a Muslim man was beaten on the pretext of love jihad in front of his nine-year-old daughter while an Imam in Haryana was expelled from his village for refusing to chant “Vande Mataram”.