Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mosque set on fire in Bihar town during Ram Navami procession

Sana Akbar and Meer Faisal

On March 31, Friday, a procession of a Hindu group celebrating Ram Navami vandalised a mosque and set it on fire in Biharsharif, a town in Bihar’s Nalanda district. The violent mob is also accused of targeting Muslim properties in the town.

Similar incidents were also reported in Sasaram, the district headquarters of Rohtas. Prohibitory orders have been imposed in both towns.

Internet services have been suspended in Biharsharif for two days, according to reports.

While speaking to Maktoob Mohammad Shahabuddin, the Imam of the Murarpur Mosque said, “a confrontation between the people happened approximately 500 metres ahead of the Mosque. Everything was usual around the mosque. The mosque lies at a turn, and there is no Muslim population in the area. The Hindutva crowd stormed the mosque after discovering it is isolated.”

The Imam claims that he was also injured by the stones thrown at the mosque. Although nothing transpired outside or within the mosque, a mob gathered and vandalised it.

Another resident, Aamir, stated, “It’s difficult to explain what exactly happen that culminated in the arson, but suddenly I noticed people on the road starting to run towards the alley.”

The following moment, Hotel City Palace, owned by a Muslim businessman, was set on fire. Several automobiles on the street were also set on fire.

Nalanda Police said though the Ram Navami procession passed peacefully through Biharsharif on Thursday, two groups clashed Friday when a “Shobha Yatra” was being carried out from Hospital Road to Baba Maniram Ka Akhada, where there is a sizeable Muslim population.

According to Aamir, communally charged Hindutva pop songs were played during the procession provoking a section of Muslim groups. There was a commotion and people began to flee into the alley.

Locals claim around 8-10 Muslim-owned shops were targeted and set on fire. Digital Duniya, a Muslim-owned shop was looted and torched.


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