Hindutva attacks continue in Tripura, Muslim groups demand govt action

The Holy Quran was burnt along with the mosque at Pal Bazar in Unakoti district by Hindutva groups on Friday night. Photo: Special arrangement.

Amidst a series of targeted attacks on mosques and Muslim habitations in the state by Hindu organisations, the Tripura State Jamiat Ulama (Hind) submitted a memorandum to the office of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, appealing state government to ensure steps are taken to stop the attacks and legal action taken against the Hindutva groups.

“We are appealing to stop the unrest, vandalism, and attacks on religious institutions of religious minorities in Tripura at present,” the Muslim body demanded.

In its memorandum to the CM, along with the office of Director General of Police V S Yadav, Tripura Jamiat president Mufti Tayebur Rahman said that the attackers were trying to disrupt communal harmony in the state. 

Over a dozen mosques, houses, and shops belonging to Muslims were vandalised by Hindu paramilitary groups RSS, VHP, and Bajrang Dal across Tripura during protests against Bangladesh violence so far.

Following the Muslim body’s memorandum, a senior cop in the northeast state said that they are now providing security to nearly 150 mosques in the region.

Photos and videos accessed by Maktoob show violent right-wing mobs who wear saffron clothes and carry swords raising anti-Muslim slogans during protests organised by Viswa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Jagran Manch, Bajrang Dal, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Safiqur Rahman, an activist associated with Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) Tripura said to Maktoob that the Muslims in the state have been staying with fear since last week.

Mosques at Naraura in Bishalgarh region and Kalamcherra in Sipahijala district were also vandalised by Jai Shree Ram shouting mobs on Saturday night at 10 PM.

“On Friday night, a mosque in Pal Bazar in Unakoti district was burnt by the anti-Muslim mob. They burned the copies of the Holy Quran,” says Muslim activist.

So far, at least 12 mosques across the state have been vandalised.

The houses of Muslim leaders, lawyers, and businessmen were also targeted in the violence unleashed by right-wing groups.

“The situation in Tripura is continuously deteriorating. Muslims are being threatened not to contact any media about the violence. Or else their life will be in danger. No state media is reporting these incidents,” said Sultan, a local Muslim activist.

“Attacks on Mosques and Muslims properties continue from the last 4 days,” according to Sultan.

Muslim groups demand action against anti-Muslim rioters

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has demanded that the Tripura government take stern action against the Hindutva attackers and the administration and law enforcement forces bring normalcy in the areas experiencing violence and arson.

“The miscreants are fearlessly breaking the law…There is a need for all justice-loving people of our country to condemn the events in Bangladesh and to speak out against the events in Tripura and force the governments to meet the demands of law and order and justice” said national secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Malik Motasim Khan.

Popular Front of India northeast region president Mohammed Arif Khan condemned the Hindutva attacks on Muslim mosques and properties in different parts of Tripura. “They are now doing it in the garb of protests against anti-minority violence in Bangladesh,” says Khan.

“It is not right to decry about mistreating minorities in the neighboring country and at the same time be silent about the acts of violence against minorities in one’s own country. The civil society in Tripura should come forward and condemn the attacks on Muslims in Tripura. We call upon the government to ensure law and order in the state by ensuring immediate actions against the Hindutva culprits. We demand a fair investigation into the incident so that the real masterminds and instigators behind the violence are brought to justice,” read a statement by the Muslim leader in the region.

In an official note, Welfare Party of India national president SQR Ilyas urged authorities to take speedy measures to curtail anti-Muslim violence, rehabilitate the victims and give them adequate compensation for the damage caused, punish the guilty and maintain peace and tranquillity in the northeast region.

“Despite series of violent attacks, Tripura Police is saying that ‘there had been “a few stray disturbances’, there was no major incident of law and order.’ Can anyone please explain the definition of ‘Major law & order Problem’?” alleged SIO national president Mohamamd Salman.