Muslims in a Tripura village have accused Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) members of molesting Muslim women after they were targeted by the Hindu paramilitary groups, a police complaint states.
“At approx 3 pm afternoon on 26 October 2021, a rally happened in Panisagar organised by Vishva Hindu Parishad. The rally was moving by Assam-Agartala roads to Chamtila via Roa Bazar. Some miscreant groups from the rally set fire on shops and vandalised shops. Shops were gutted in the fire. Additionally, they invaded and ruckus homes of residents living near to the market (Roa Bazar). They sexually molested women. They had planned to attack Roa Jame Mosque. In this grave situation, minority families are feeling insecurity. We would request to take necessary action under IPC against these miscreants,” read a rough translation of a complaint written in Bengali language.
The complaint dated 26 October 2021, was filed to Panisagar police station by seven Muslims including two women residing in the Roa locality in Panisagar sub-division in North Tripura, 155 km from state capital Agartala.
A mosque and at least five Muslim habitations including houses and shops set on fire at Panisagar sub-division during a VHP rally Tuesday.
There were 3,500 people in the rally where anti-Muslim slogans were chanted.
“A section of VHP activists at the rally ransacked a mosque in the Chamtilla area. Later, three houses and three shops were ransacked and two shops set on fire in the Rowa Bazar area, around 800 yards away from the first incident,” Indian Express quotes Panisagar Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Soubhik Dey as saying.
Dey also said a case is being registered based on a complaint from one of them.
More than 15 mosques and several houses, and shops belonging to Muslims were vandalised and burnt by Hindu paramilitary groups RSS, VHP, and Bajrang Dal across Tripura during week-long protests against Bangladesh violence so far.
Photos and videos accessed by Maktoob show violent right-wing mobs who wear saffron clothes and carry swords raising anti-Muslim slogans during protests organised by Viswa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Jagran Manch, Bajrang Dal, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Muslims in the state have been staying with fear since last week, Safiqur Rahman, an activist associated with Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) Tripura said to Maktoob.
“Can’t sleep,” Sultan Hussain, read a tweet by another local Muslim activist in the northeast state where Muslims make up around 8.60% of the population.
Identified the Muslim shops before vandalising
Nizamuddin and Amiruddin Hussain, two local merchants in Roa among the latest victims of ongoing anti-Muslim violence in Tripura on Tuesday.
The grocery stores, ration shops, and godown owned by Nizamuddin and Amiruddin were set on fire during the Vishva Hindu Parishad rally Tuesday.
The Hindutva mob burnt down Amiruddin’s three shops -two grocery stores, and a godown- which led to a loss of at least Rs 10 lakh, according to journalist Samriddhi K Sakunia.
Amiruddin was the sole earning source in his 13 member family.
Sakunia’s tweet also alleges that the mob before the rally identified the Muslim shops and mosques and destroyed them accordingly.
Tripura burns with violence & hate: Congress
“After Assam and Mizoram, now Tripura burns with violence and hate,” condemning the growing violence in Tripura, the key Opposition Congress tweeted from its official Twitter handle.
“The BJP is failing the people of the North East,” read the tweet by Congress. They also urged the government to take action against the attackers.
“Seeing the violence against Minorities is perhaps one of the most shameful chapters in my political life ! I don’t see any logical reason for such retaliation to what is happening in Bangladesh,” TIPRA chief Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma said.
Memorandum to Chief Minister
Amidst a series of targeted attacks on mosques and Muslim habitations in the state by Hindu organisations, the Tripura State Jamiat Ulama (Hind) submitted a memorandum to the office of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, appealing state government to ensure steps are taken to stop the attacks and legal action taken against the Hindutva groups.
“We are appealing to stop the unrest, vandalism, and attacks on religious institutions of religious minorities in Tripura at present,” the Muslim body demanded.
In its memorandum to the CM, along with the office of Director General of Police V S Yadav, Tripura Jamiat president Mufti Tayebur Rahman said that the attackers were trying to disrupt communal harmony in the state.
Muslim groups demand action against anti-Muslim rioters
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has demanded that the Tripura government take stern action against the Hindutva attackers and the administration and law enforcement forces bring normalcy in the areas experiencing violence and arson.
“The miscreants are fearlessly breaking the law…There is a need for all justice-loving people of our country to condemn the events in Bangladesh and to speak out against the events in Tripura and force the governments to meet the demands of law and order and justice” said national secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Malik Motasim Khan.
Popular Front of India northeast region president Mohammed Arif Khan condemned the Hindutva attacks on Muslim mosques and properties in different parts of Tripura. “They are now doing it in the garb of protests against anti-minority violence in Bangladesh,” says Khan.
“It is not right to decry about mistreating minorities in the neighboring country and at the same time be silent about the acts of violence against minorities in one’s own country. The civil society in Tripura should come forward and condemn the attacks on Muslims in Tripura. We call upon the government to ensure law and order in the state by ensuring immediate actions against the Hindutva culprits. We demand a fair investigation into the incident so that the real masterminds and instigators behind the violence are brought to justice,” read a statement by the Muslim leader in the region.
In an official note, Welfare Party of India national president SQR Ilyas urged authorities to take speedy measures to curtail anti-Muslim violence, rehabilitate the victims and give them adequate compensation for the damage caused, punish the guilty and maintain peace and tranquillity in the northeast region.
“Despite series of violent attacks, Tripura Police is saying that ‘there had been “a few stray disturbances’, there was no major incident of law and order.’ Can anyone please explain the definition of ‘Major law & order Problem’?” alleged SIO national president Mohamamd Salman.