Thursday, February 22, 2024

Muslim woman, youth assaulted by mob part of Ram Navami rally in Bihar

Sana Akbar and Meer Faisal

A Muslim woman and a youth were allegedly assaulted by Hindu mob who was a part of Ram Navami rally on 1 April in Rampur Bakhri village, Muzaffarpur, Bihar.

The police have registered an FIR and are searching for the suspects.

The victim, Ashraf Ali, stated that on March 30th, four teenagers riding two bikes deviated from the Ramnavami procession and approached a mosque in the locality. They raised the Jai Shree Ram chant in front of the mosque gate, leading to a scuffle with some local Muslims who live nearby. The teenagers then fled the scene.

The following day, a group of 9-10 individuals on 5 bikes arrived in the neighbourhood of the Muslims involved in the scuffle and shouted anti-Muslim slogans like “mulle kaate jaenge.”

Shabana Khatoon, a resident of the same village, was attacked by a Hindu mob of approximately 10-12 persons, including women, while running errands on April 1st. She was accompanied by a boy who was also beaten.

Shabana is reportedly related to one of the boys involved in the scuffle. When Shabana’s family arrived and threatened to file a police report, a crowd of 30-40 people gathered. Ashraf, a Muslim man who was passing through the neighbourhood on his way to see his friends, stopped to inquire what was going on when the mob attacked him, saying ‘ye bhi mulla hai maro esko’ which roughly translates to “he is also a Muslim, beat him too.” The mob was carrying weapons, and Ashraf sustained a severe head injury from being struck with the butt of a handgun. He managed to flee the scene and was taken to the hospital, along with Shabana, who was also admitted.

Ashraf has identified five members of the mob in the FIR. Some locals claim that some of the youth in the mob are associated with the Bajrang Dal.

Last year, on the occasion of the Ram Navami procession, they gathered around the mosque, shouting anti-Muslim slogans and brandishing swords and sticks. This issue was resolved in the local council (Panchayat) later on. These young people carry firearms and brazenly flaunt them on social media. Some have alleged that one of the gang members works in the Indian Army and comes here on vacations to train others in how to use firearms.

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