List of hate crimes against Muslims in India reported in August

Hyderabad: The month of August witnessed a number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in India, particularly in the Hindi belt. While the basis for any form of hate crime is unjustified, the arguments put forth by the perpetrators of the crime are worthy of notice.

The crimes were perpetrated by members of right-wing Hindutva groups, devotees of Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati, and in some cases even saw the presence and vociferous support from political leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The reasons given by the perpetrators of the crime vary from an inane desire to protect Hindu women, to an unfound fear of Muslims taking up jobs “meant for Hindus” which they call “economic jihad”.

A curated list of hate crimes across the month of August is presented below for perusal. It is to be noted that these hate crimes are ones that received some media attention and are in no way an exhaustive account of hate crimes happening across the country.

MS Education Academy

August 8: Alongside several BJP leaders in attendance, communal and degrading slogans were raised at a rally at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, some of which included a call for violence against Muslims. The rally organised by former Delhi BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay, demanded the end of “colonial-era laws” and the setting up of a uniform civil code.

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August 11: Kranti Sena, a right-wing Hindutva organisation went around in Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh and warned local businesses against hiring Muslim men as Mehendi designers for Hindu women.

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August 11: Asfar Ahmed, a 45-year-old auto driver in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur was assaulted and forced to chant “Jai Shree ram” slogans while his five-year-old daughter begged the assaulters for mercy.

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August 22: A 25-year-old Muslim bangle seller was assaulted in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore by right-wing goons. The victim alleged that the attackers broke his belongings and took Rs 10,000 from him. MP home minister Narottam Mishra defended the attack and blamed the bangle seller.

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August 23: An Imam from Bapauli village in Harayana was forced to chant “Vande Mataram” by right-wing goons and upon refusing to do so, he was expelled from the village.

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August 25: A Muslim youth was dragged by his hair, beaten up, stomped on his neck and his legs were tied up to make him “confess” to theft in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly.

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August 27: A Muslim dosa vendor was abused by vigilantes in Mathura who further went on to vandalize his stall all because the name of the stall was “Shrinath dosa corner.” The main accused Devraj Pandit claims to be a devotee of Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati and accused the vendor of committing “economic jihad”.

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August 29: A Muslim scrap dealer was threatened and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ by two men at a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district.

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Aside from the above instances, a pro-Hindutva group by the name Hindu Jagrana Vedike, on August 19 dragged a Hindu woman and Muslim man to the police station on suspicion of them travelling together in a bus to Bengaluru.

In Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur, two Muslim men Mohammed Aurangazeb and Mohammad Arzoo accused police officials of brutally beating and sexually assaulting them in a station on August 26. Aurangazeb further said that he was forced to have unnatural sex with the co-accused and on refusing to do so, he was beaten up with a cricket wicket laced with excrement.

All the men attacked in the above instances come from the lower economic strata of society.

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