Saturday, December 9, 2023

Bajrang Dal leader, his 456-member WhatsApp group behind of Bihar Sharif violence, say police

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Photo: Meer Faisal/Maktoob

The Bihar Police on Monday said that Hindutva leader Kundan Kumar was the mastermind behind the anti-Muslim violence that took place during the Ram Navami festival in Bihar Sharif.

Kumar is the convener of Bajrang Dal Nalanda district.

Kumar was arrested on April 8 after he surrendered as the administration began to attach his properties.

“He [Kundan Kumar] is accused of gathering a huge crowd in the name of a Ram Navami procession in Bihar Sharif without proper permission. That mob went out of control and violence started,” Nalanda Superintendent of Police Ashok Mishra told The Telegraph.

According to NDTV, the Bihar Police said that Kundan Kumar and Kishan Kumar, another accused person, had planned and executed the anti-Muslim violence in Bihar Sharif through social media and a WhatsApp group that had 456 members.

Through the WhatsApp group, Kundan and Kishan Kumar spread fake videos about Muslims instigating the other members to incite violence against them, Jitendra Singh Gangawar, Additional Director General of Police told NDTV.

Violence and vandalism have marred Ram Navami Processions in several states of India, targeting Muslims. Hate speech and stone-pelting against places of worship and shrines were common in all the incidents, which occurred in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, West Bengal, and Gujarat.

On March 31, during the Ram Navami rally, a Hindutva mob set fire to Madrasa Azizia, which is the oldest madrasa and library in Bihar Sharif.

The madrasa contained more than 4,500 books which were destroyed in the fire, Mohammad Shahabuddin, Imam of Murarpur mosque said to Maktoob.

“All of the books have been destroyed, and none remain,” he said.

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