Tripura: Hindutva groups attack Muslims, mosques across state

Hyderabad: Several mosques and Muslims were attacked by Hindutva groups across Tripura in a wave of communal violence that started two days ago on October 20. The right-wing groups across the northeast state reportedly vandalized at least six mosques and over a dozen of houses and shops belonging to the Muslim community there.

Violent right wing mobs wearing saffron clothes, carrying swords and raising anti-Muslim slogans were seen in photos and videos marching with weapons towards mosques, Maktoob Media reported. The mobs allegedly belong to Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Hindu Jagran Manch, Bajrang Dal and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). News reports suggested that the violence was a result of communal violence in Bangladesh that took place over the past week.

At least six mosques were attacked by Hindu mobs since October 20, Safiqur Rahman, an activist of the Students Islamic Organization (SIO) told Maktoob Media. Furthermore, he said that a mosque was burnt in Maharani region in Gomathi district’s Udaipur. Moreover, Mosques in Krishnanagar, Dharmanagar, Panisagar and Chandrapur in Tripura were also vandalized on Thursday.

As per latest reports, Section 144 has been imposed in the region after a call for anti-Muslim violence by Hindutva groups. However, many pointed out that it didn’t stop the Hindu mobs from attacking Muslims, and even police officials in some areas.

Participants of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) rally broke window glasses and CCTV cameras of Krishnagar Jama Masjid, according to Tripura Infoways website. Rahman also said that at 1 am on Friday, a Mosque in Panisagar in North Tripura district was burnt by violent Hindu mobs. In Kailashahar, a locality near the state capital Agartala, a mob reportedly surrounding the mosque shouted “Jai Shri Ram” and placed a saffron flag. “These all happened during the protests against communal violence in Bangladesh,” Rahman told Maktoob.

The Students’ Islamic Organization (SIO) Tripura urged the authorities to take strict action against attackers and ensure safety to the Muslims in the state. In a statement on Thursday, the student group said “we strongly condemn the brutal attack and vandalisation on Advocate Abdul Basit Khan’s house and a mosque (on Waqf land) adjacent to his house by a Hindutva radicalised mob, today.”

The national president of SIO, Salman Ahmed tweeted that attacks were carried out on Muslims in the state during Friday prayers.

“Scattered reports of vandalism, intimidation and targeting of Mosques and houses of Muslims are emerging from Tripura. Apparently, some protests against the anti-minority violence in Bangladesh are turning violent in Tripura,” read a by tweet by DOTO Database, a platform that monitors and documents hate-crimes.

“The anti-Muslim attacks are well-planned,” a local Muslim activist Sultan, told Maktoob. He also tweeted that continuously reports are coming from various places in Tripura, and that people are living in fear.

Responding to the attacks against Muslim minorities in the state, Triparaha Indigenous Progress Regional Alliance (TIPRA) chief Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma said “any motivated acts in our state where minorities are attacked as a retaliation to what has happened in Bangladesh must be condemned.” The politician also appealed for peace amongst all religions in the state.

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