Muslim Woman Riding a Two-Wheeler Forced to Take Off Hijab in India's Madhya Pradesh - Video

CC BY-SA 2.0 / Hernán Piñera / Look through the windowA woman wearing a hijab looks through the window
A woman wearing a hijab looks through the window - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.10.2021
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The Madhya Pradesh incident isn't the first of its kind in India recently as social tensions have been on the rise in the country since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ascension in 2014. Last month, a Hindu man was beaten by thugs for giving a Muslim woman a ride on his bike in Bengaluru.
In a shocking incident in Bhopal, the capital of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, a Muslim woman, who was riding pillion on a two-wheeler was subjected to insults by thugs before being forced to remove her hijab.

The incident took place on Saturday and was widely condemned on various social media platforms.
Some reports claimed that the alleged couple was stopped by a group of people in Bhopal's Islam Nagar because they suspected the man she was riding pillion with was Muslim and the girl was Hindu, and when they saw her wearing Muslim attire, it filled them with anger, eventually stirring them into action.

On the other hand, media outlet The Indian Express said that the girl was Muslim while the man was Hindu and the girl was insulted for going out with a person from another community.

A video put up on Twitter appears to show some locals removing the girl's hijab while she continued to protest, but in vain. A man even labelled her a "disgrace" to the people of the community.
Despite the widespread criticism, police in Madhya Pradesh haven't registered a case against the men responsible for the act. Although, the police did detain the two men seen in the video, only to let them go after a warning.
"A man and the woman came to Islam Nagar in the afternoon. Some people stopped them and asked her to take off her hijab and show her face. It is suspected that the people believed the man was Hindu and the girl Muslim", Bhopal police officer R.S. Verma told the Indian media.
"No case has been registered but preventive action has been taken against the two men seen in the video, who were let off with a warning to not repeat such an act", Verma said.
This ugly episode once again puts the limelight back on the escalating Hindu-Muslim divide in India. Opposition parties have often accused Modi and his outfit, the BJP, of inciting hatred in the nation, with senior party members regularly making controversial remarks.
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