Aquilur Rahman & Snobar
On December 12, Bajrang Dal member Jeet Vashisht entered Nuh (Mewat) district in Haryana with more than 500 cars filled with members and supporters of the Hindutva organisation. In a video posted by Vashisht on his Facebook account, which has over 54,000 followers, he claimed that they have entered Mewat to “saffronise it”.
In the video, individuals can be seen carrying saffron flags and dancing with swords after entering the Singar village which is located in Punhana Tehsil of Nuh (Mewat) district in Haryana.
Vashisth said, “We have entered the village of Singar where Lord Krishna did Shringar (adornment) and our brotherhood has penetrated the huge population of a particular community (Muslims).”
Vashisht also talked about a Facebook post posted on December 11, announcing the Bhagwa Yatra (Saffron Rally) on December 12 that was carried out till the Singar Temple of the village on Saturday.
Vashisht in his video also claimed to have been receiving messages from people saying it is not safe for him to enter Mewat. “We are not as weak as you (Muslims) think. We are not scared of your messages and comments,” he said.
He showed the cars of his supporters and said, “Dekho, aaj humne poora Mewat bhagwa kardiya hai. (Today, we have saffronised the whole Mewat).”
He further said, “Yeh Mewat ka woh gaon hai jaha Hindu jaane se bhi dus baar sochte hai. (Today, we have entered those villages of Mewat where Hindus think ten times before visiting).”
Vashisht urged his followers to promote the video as much as possible in order to tell the nation that the whole Muslim-dominated Mewat has been saffronised.
Presence of police force during the rally
In the video, Vashisht showed the Haryana Police standing unmoved by the roadside while the cars were retreating after concluding the Yatra at Singar Temple.
When asked whether the permission for the rally was given or not, the police inspector of Bichore Police Station, Punhana Tehsil, said, “All information regarding this rally is recorded in the main police headquarters. You can get further information from there.”
He also noted that the police force was deployed at the scene for the safety of people.
Shakti Singh, DC of Nuh was not responding to the calls made.
Bhagwa Rally on August 16
This was not the first time when Bajrang Dal had taken out a Bhagwa Rally in the Muslim-dominated district of Haryana. On August 16, Vashisth along with the members of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal had organized a similar rally on bikes and trucks.
In a Facebook video posted on August 16, Vashisth said, “We want to give this message through our Bhagwa Rally that the Hindu community of Mewat is not alone today.”
“This is a direct threat to those jihadis who convert our Hindu girls in the name of love jihad that the Hindu society is not weak in any way, today. Hindus are united today,” he added.
According to a report by Millat Times on Youtube, on 16 August, the workers of Bajrang Dal and VHP tried to give a communal colour to the Hindu-Muslim brotherhood of the Mewat district.
During the rally, the members of Bajrang Dal and VHP were seen using filthy language against Muslims of the Mewat, the report said. On the same day, Dada Noorshai Mazar in Nalhar, Nuh, was vandalised by the Bajrang Dal and VHP members.
Aftab Ahmed, Congress MLA of Nuh district said he wasn’t aware of the rally held on December 12 but he knew about the rally which was taken out in August.
“The rally had the approval of the administration, but when the members of Bajrang Dal started violence and broke the Mazar, we objected to it and went to the Deputy Commissioner and the SP to file a complaint against the culprits, due to which the permission of the rally was withdrawn. And the rally ended there,” Ahmed said.
Later, a panchayat was organised in which the people of both the communities showed consent to repair the Mazar.
The rising hatred and fear among the locals
“This has never happened in Mewat before, it is happening now. When these people (Bajrang Dal) do such acts, our hearts get hurt but we cannot do anything,” Mustafa, a resident of Singar village, Mewat, said.
“We did not make any complaint against those people (Bajrang Dal) because we knew nothing would happen from our complaints because the police are with those people and not with us. No one listens to us, neither the police nor the government,” Mustafa said.
Hafis, another resident of the village, said, “The people of Hindutva mindset are just trying to create an atmosphere of panic so that they can create a violence against Muslims in the village.”
Talking about the Hindu-Muslim relations in the village, Mustafa said, “We live in the village with love. There are just some people in the village who are associated with the BJP. They want a turmoil in the village so that the Hindu Muslims get divided.”
Mustafa further talked about a case of interfaith marriage where a Muslim man married a Hindu girl in the village. “Since then, the motive of some people is just to create violence against us,” he added.
On being asked about any recent event, Mustafa said, “On December 13, a young Muslim man succumbed to mob lynching in Palwal, Haryana. At first, it was said that the man died in an accident, but two days later, the people who killed him posted the video of his mob lynching on their Facebook accounts.”
“SP has assured that action will be taken against the accused soon but no action has been taken so far,” he added. “We do not have any hope from this government as in Mewat a lot has happened but no action has been taken so far.”
Snobar is an independent journalist based in New Delhi, you can follow her on Twitter @snobar19. Aquilur Rahman is a freelance writer based in New Delhi.