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Feature: “Only Muslims targeted”; Police crackdown turns vindictive in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone

 

Shaheen Abdulla

Following a large scale of anti-Muslim violence in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone, authorities have begun demolishing houses and shops belonging to Muslims on Monday in Chandini Chowk and Khaskhaswadi Mohalla area, Maktoob has learnt from a local source.

Visuals of bulldozers razing down houses with police escorts have been shared. Police have assaulted community leaders who demanded official orders that authorize the demolition drive, even before any investigation into the violence began.

“They have picked up many Muslim youths near the mosque,” Abdul, a resident of Aazad nagar told Maktoob.

Following the violence, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has given instructions for strict action against the perpetrators. “Punishment meted to them will be an set an example,” he said.

A slip with 20 Muslim names is circulating in local Muslim Whatsapp groups saying their houses will be demolished by the authorities. Maktoob couldn’t independently verify the list but has found out that bulldozers have already demolished at least a dozen buildings belonging to Muslims.

“We will demolish the houses and convert them to piles of stones from where the stones have come. We will not let the peace and order of Madhya Pradesh deteriorate,” State Home Minister Narottam Mishra told the media.

“Police came to demolish Jama masjid complex in Talab chowk. they broke down the shutters of the shop but then they left after Muslims confronted them. But they have returned again and began demolishing the complex,” an activist who wants to remain anonymous told Maktoob, sharing visual proof.

Dozens of people are injured in violence that began on Sunday following the Ram Navami procession led by infamous BJP leader Kapil Mishra. Some have bullet injuries.

The Commissioner of Indore has confirmed that 84 people have been arrested so far in connection with the rioting in the city.

More incidents of violence have been confirmed in Khargone city on Mondy, a day after curfew was imposed by the district administration. Women were attacked allegedly by policemen who tried to break into a mosque in Sanjay Nagar.

Maktoob has confirmed that incidents of anti-Muslim violence happened in nine states across India on Sunday as Hindu outfits carried out the Ram Navami processions. One death has been confirmed in Gujarat in connection with the violence.

“If one combines the violence and hate speeches that happened on Sunday, it spans multiple states. A truly national level communal mobilisation,” senior journalist Aditya Menon wrote on Twitter.

Indian American Muslim Council urged “international human rights organizations & civil society groups to take note of the deteriorating situation and ask the Indian government to take immediate steps to protect the country’s 200 million Muslims”.

“IAMC also calls on the US Department of State (@StateDept) and Secretary Anthony Blinken (@SecBlinken) to implement @USCIRF’s recommendation of designating India as Country of Particular Concern (CPC),” reads the statement by the US-based Muslim advocacy group. Courtesy Maktoob Media

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