Monday, December 11, 2023

In Nuh, Muslims “persecuted for resistance,” says CASR’s fact-finding report

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The Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a collective of more than 35 organisations, has released its fact finding ground report about recent violence in Haryana’s Nuh district. The report was titled as “Persecuted for Resistance.”

The fact-finding team constitutes lawyers, academics, journalists, students and farmer and labor union activists. 

The fact-finding team conducted a visit to various villages and towns in Nuh from August 19th to August 21st, 2023. During this period, the team observed and gathered testimonies in Nuh city and several villages, including Untka, Muradbaas, Nallhad, Palladi, Kheda, and more. The team interacted with family members of the arrested individuals, local leaders, and activists.

At the report releasing event titled as “Authority and Complicity: Exposing state sponsored violence from Manipur to Mewat,” activist John Dayal analysed the socio-political condition of Nuh, where all the shops of Muslims were demolished which broke the economic backbone of the community.

“This initiative can’t be addressed just as a data collection but a documentation of onslaught that was targeted at Muslims in Nuh, Mewat. It was a Pre-Planned and well coordinated attempt by fascist goons in regard to the upcoming elections. We demand the rebuilding of shops and houses that have been demolished, the initiation of strong actions against those who instigated the violence, and the release of falsely incarcerated people,” said Asim Khan, president of Fraternity Movement.

Jenny Rowena, professor at Miranda House, Delhi University and member of fact-finding team, said “people in Nih villages are mostly working class and struggle to meet the ends.”

She told that a long history of attempts to create disharmony among the communities by the right wing people exists in Nuh. Destroying fascist propaganda of communal hatred among Muslims in Nuh, she cited incidents from 1992, when Muslims guarded local temples, as well amicable resolution when a ‘mazaar’ was destroyed in the recent yatra.

Aditi from Bigul Mazdoor Dasta highlighted problems with socio-economic structure of Haryana and the condition of women.

Explaining the conduct of police during raids, she added “police raided villages in the early morning without women police personnel and made sexually explicit comment against women”. She also elaborated how women have to guard their villages amid ever looming threat of raids and arrests.

Adv. Vikas Attri from Sonipat, justified the resistance of people of Nuh by stating: “The people were deliberately instigated by communal slogans, threatening to attack, and genocidal calls. This deliberate instigation was allowed by administration/police, therefore, in absence of law and order, people resisted this attack. I believe this resistance is well within the right of self defense.”

Elaborating on malicious persecution, he added “the suspect list that police has issued, names barely 7 Hindus from more than 700 people named. Police have not even investigated from Hindu community but have raided Muslim houses and arrested individuals indiscriminately.”

Annie Raja, President of National Federation of Indian Women, talked about her visit to Manipur as a part of NFIW fact-finding. “There are almost 125 dead bodiesof kuki people in mortuaries and 56 dead bodies of Meitei’s, that were later allowed to be cremated,” she said.

She elaborated that Kukis are being targeted because of their opposition against hill development funds to the valley. She informed that tribal houses were marked in surveys and later burned.

“The question on land reservation to Dalits and tribals raised by Meitei broke tension. The violence was indeed a state agenda with the Union government’s hands in it. The eviction of forest areas of Manipur would provide free access to corporates in future”, added Annie.

The conference was moderated by N. Sachin, professor at Delhi University. He drew parallel on state’s role and its complicity in violence from Manipur to Mewat.

The speakers unanimously demanded the release of falsely implicated Muslims in Nuh violence, compensation for victims of demolitions, end to violence in Manipur and arrest of Hindutva militants like Monu Manesar and others responsible for instigation of violence in Nuh.

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