Police detain protesters; Tripura’s anti-Muslim violence follows pattern of Delhi riots, say activists
Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India
NEW DELHI — Activists from various organisations on Friday held a protest near Tripura Bhavan against concerted attacks on Muslims and their properties in Tripura. They raised slogans against Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb, Tripura Police and state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for failing to protect mosques, shops and homes of Muslims. They demanded action against the goons who are targetting Muslim minority throughout the state.
The Delhi Police broke up the agitation by brutally manhandling the protesters and detaining them. No sooner than the protest began a heavy contingent of police swung into action and rounded them in buses.
Speaking with Clarion India, Wasim Ariz, secretary of Fraternity Movement, said that the violence in Tripura follows the pattern of Delhi riots of February 2020 which were “state-sponsored”.
“Today we are protesting here because our people and places of worship are under attack. We want to tell the state that Indian Muslim cannot endure any more violence. We will raise our voice.”
The protest was called by several civil society groups such as Students Islamic Organisation, Fraternity Movement, All India Students Association, Muslim Student Federation and United Against Hate.
Similar agitations were held in other parts of the country including Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh and Gangapur City in Rajasthan.
Tripura has been witnessing an alarming series of communal violence and targeted attacks against Muslims since last week. According to information relayed by local activists and residents, there have been at least 27 confirmed incidents of Hindutva mobs attacking mosques, houses and individuals in Muslim areas. These include 16 incidents where mosques were vandalised and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) flags were forcibly hoisted on them, three of which were set on fire.
“We gathered against anti-minority violence in Tripura,” Lepi, a member of one of the student organisations, said. “We demand that the government take action against those who have created the violence. They should be punished as soon as possible. The government should ensure that there are safeguards for minorities”.
There are also reports of Muslim houses being pelted with stones and houses of prominent Muslims targeted and vandalised. Almost all of these attacks were carried out by various right-wing groups including VHP that had ostensibly gathered to protest anti-Hindu violence in Bangladesh.
“There has been no action against the right-wing mob that has been threatening Muslims. The state and police authorities are creating an illusion of normalcy by deploying police personnel in a few areas. Instead of going after the culprits, they are threatening journalists and activists who are highlighting the situation on social media,” said SIO National President Mohammad Salman Ahmad in a statement.
Fraternity Movement President Shamsher Ibrahim appealed to the government to bring the situation under control and provide compensation for the destruction of mosques and other properties. “The Muslims in the state should be provided security and those responsible for the violence and terror should be punished in order to bring peace to the state,” he said.