With election season, hate-crime received little attention in November

This article is a part of Siasat.com’s hate-crime tracker which chronicles atrocities against Muslims in India.

As the country focused primarily on the elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the reportage on hate-crimes took a hit. As Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah discussing at length what they would do for the poll bound state of Gujarat, the focus on minorities went amiss.

This article is a part of Siasat.com’s hate-crime tracker which chronicles atrocities against Muslims in India.

Here are November’s hate crime incidents

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On November 1, a 20-year-old Muslim man was lynched to death in broad daylight in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur. According to reports, the deceased, whose name the police were reluctant to divulge, was in a relationship with a Hindu girl for two years. He had gone to meet her on the occasion of Chhath puja when the girl’s family caught him and assaulted him with bricks and stones after which he died on the spot, said a senior police officer.

On November 16, A local school in Karnataka’s Udupi district came under fire from Hindutva organisations for aazan (call for prayer) while conducting an inter-school taluk-level sports day on the previous day.

The school – Mother Teresa Memorial School – was conducting Swarnadhama Prarthana where students sang and performed songs from all three religions – Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. The founder of the school, Shamita, tried to calm the situation by apologising and accepting that playing the aazan was a ‘mistake’.

A video of the apology was made by the protestors.

On November 17, Bajrang Dal activists submitted a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) to Karnataka High Court demanding Jamia mosque situated in Srirangapatna town of Mandya district be vacated at the earliest. The PIL was submitted by Bajrang Dal’s state president Manjunath along with 108 Hanuman devotees.

“There are traces of Hindu gods and temple structure in the Jamia Mosque of historical Srirangapatna town in Mandya district. Hence, the mosque should be vacated immediately and also, Hindu devotees should be allowed to take bath in the kalyani (traditional water body) located on the premises of the mosque,” the PIL stated.

On the same day, in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar, district authorities razed down a 300-year mosque. An official who spoke to Times Now stated that it was a move for development. “A 300-year-old mosque that came in the way of 709 AD Panipat-Khatima highway…was demolished on Thursday for road widening,” the official said.

On November 18, Karnataka Congress MLA Tanveer Sait was threatened by Raghu Sakaleshpura, a Bajrang Dal worker. Raghu had warned Sait over the latter’s announcement of installing the tallest statue of Tipu Sultan in historical towns Mysuru or Srirangapatna.

Raghu, in a video, had said, “I am issuing a warning to Tanveer Sait over his statement of installing the statue of Tipu Sultan. We will not allow the installation of even a one-foot-tall statue of Tipu Sultan. If that happens, it will be your anthima yatra (final yatra).”

On November 22, Kheda district of Gujarat, which was in news for the public flogging of Muslims by the state police during the festive month of October, saw another incident of Islamophobia when right-wing organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) protested against Muslim students of ITI (Industrial Training Institute) wearing skull caps and burkhas.

On November 24, the Bhagwan Mahavir University campus in Surat, Gujarat, saw incidents of Muslim assault by Bajrang Dal and VHP student activists. According to sources, the right-wing organisations accused the Muslim students of luring Hindu female students with false identities and exploiting them sexually. A video where a lone Muslim student is seen being assaulted by a group of angry Hindu students started trending on Twitter.

On the same day, right-wing organisation Hindu Jagaran Vedike erected a poster in front of the Kukke Sri Subrahmanya Swami temple in Dakshina Kannada district asking non-Hindu shopkeepers to refrain from setting up stalls for the upcoming temple festival Champa Shashthi that falls on November 29.

Siasat.com got in touch with the temple’s executive officer in charge who said that they are not responsible for the poster. “The poster is erected around 1km away from the temple premises. We do not hold any responsibility,” the officer said.

When asked if they plan to allow non-Hindu traders to set up their shops/stalls during the festival time, the officer said they were following the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Rules, 2002.

On the other hand, BJP MLA from Chickpet constituency Uday B Garudachar, warned of action against a call by Hindu activists to boycott Muslim traders from carrying out their businesses during the Subramaneshwara fair in Bengaluru.

On the same day, a 20-year-old Muslim man was beaten and thrashed by a group of Bajrang Dal men for travelling with a Hindu girl on a bus. The victim –  Seyad Raseem Ummar -was dragged to the police station by the Hindutva men. The incident happened in Mangaluru, Karnataka.

On November 25, a pediatric doctor working at Silchar Medical College and Hospital allegedly hurled insults at a Muslim couple, whose child was admitted with pneumonia symptoms. A video shows the father of the child accusing the doctor of how could he use words such as ‘topiwala‘ and ‘burkhawali‘. The man was wearing a skullcap while his wife was in a burkha.

A complaint was filed by the father of the child with the Superintendent of the Hospital against the doctor. According to a report by Barak Bulletin, Ahmed Mustafa Kamal Laskar had come to admit his daughter to the hospital. “My daughter was admitted to the ICU. We were waiting outside when a nurse said that my daughter was feeling anxious. At that moment, the doctor (Dr Sujith Nath Choudhary) entered the ward and said “Why are mullas, dariwala and burkhawali here, throw them out.”

On November 26, an incident of custodial death came to light that occurred in Guna district of Madhya Pradesh. The deceased, 30-year-old Israel Khan, had come to Bhopal on November 19 to attend a three-day religious festival. While returning home in an auto, Khan was stopped and detained by the police.

“He was detained at the Khushmuda police station, when his father Munawwar Khan reached the police station, the deceased was being thrashed.” Khan’s uncle Aslam Khan was quoted as saying by Maktoob Media. Israel Khan died on November 21.

According to a report by The Week, Israel Khan and a few of his friends allegedly for into a fight with a local police team in October. The police had taken him to custody for this reason, the report said.

Denying allegations, Aslam Khan said that his nephew had no criminal record. Israel Khan is survived by his wife, four children including an eight-month-old son, and parents.

On November 28, the nation woke up to a distraught Muslim student of the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) questioning his professor when the latter addressed him as Ajmal Kasab, the terrorist behind the 26/1 1 Mumbai attacks.

“These jokes are not acceptable. No! You can’t joke about my religion..that too in such a terrible manner,” the student stresses. The video, which was recorded by one of the student’s classmates, went extremely viral on Twitter.

The professor was soon suspended by MIT. The university then issued a notice stating that an inquiry has been set up and the concerned teaching staff has been debarred from classes till the inquiry is over.

Aside from the above, the murder of Shraddha Walkar, worked as fodder to clamp down on inter-religious couples across the country.

This is in no way an exhaustive list. The hate crime tracker for the previous months can be accessed below.

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