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Muslims In India Face Retaliatory Attacks From Hindu Mobs For Bangladesh Violence

© REUTERS / ANUSHREE FADNAVISHindu right-wing groups protest over attacks against Hindus during Durga Puja festival in Dhaka, outside the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi, India, October 20, 2021
Hindu right-wing groups protest over attacks against Hindus during Durga Puja festival in Dhaka, outside the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi, India, October 20, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.10.2021
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Officially, India has backed the Bangladeshi authorities' prompt response to the attacks against Hindus in the country. However, there has also been rising anger among many Hindu organisations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is apparently reluctant to deal “firmly” with the Bangladeshi government over the attacks.
Nearly 12 mosques in different parts of India’s Tripura state have been vandalised - some to the point of having been razed to the ground - by frenzied mobs in the past three days, eyewitnesses have told Sputnik. The attacks on members of the Muslim community in the north-eastern state are considered retaliation for mob attacks against those belonging to the Hindu minority in Bangladesh, which shares a border with Tripura.
Besides targeting mosques, groups comprising activists from several Hindu organisations, including the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), have been targeting homes in the state's predominantly Muslim neighbourhoods, according to locals.
“Today, a mob led by state legislator Sudhangshu Das, burnt down a mosque in Kailashahar. Mobs also gathered at many other mosques in the state and prevented Muslims from carrying out Friday prayers,” Sultan Hussain, a local resident and an activist from the Students’ Islamic Organisation (SIO) of India, told Sputnik.
The allegations against Das, a legislator from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), couldn’t be independently verified. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP is in power in Tripura.
Hussain also claimed that the Muslim community was now living in a “state of fear” and have been “confined to their homes”. “Vigilantes have been roaming the streets of predominantly Muslim neighbourhoods for the past few days. So far, there hasn’t been any injury since we have exercised restraint and stayed in our homes,” Hussain said.
He says that even though the “local authorities” in some places have tried to rein the mobs in and brought the situation somewhat under control, a “coordinated action” by the state government to stem the violence at religious places was still missing.
According to several reports in Indian media, volunteers from the VHP and other allied organisations clashed with police in Udaipur, the state’s third-biggest city, on Thursday after they were prevented from taking out an anti-Bangladesh demonstration on Thursday.
“Three security personnel sustained injuries when protesters pelted stones at them after their procession was halted by police. One protester was also injured,” Tripura’s inspector-general (Law and Order) Arindam Nath told reporters.
A day before the clashes, VHP activists held a demonstration at the Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi and demanded a thorough probe into the attacks against Hindus in the country.
Bangladeshi activists join in a torch procession demanding justice for the violence against Hindu communities during Durga Puja festival in Dhaka, Bangladesh, October 18, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.10.2021
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“The situation in Tripura is deteriorating fast, with a number of reports of mosques being burnt and Muslim houses and property being vandalised. It seems the VHP crowds that were protesting against anti-Hindu violence in Bangladesh are turning to violence against Muslims in Tripura,” Mohammad Salman, the national president of SIO said in a statement.
“The chief minister and state administration seems to be completely ignoring this outbreak, even as they appease the Hindutva forces with incendiary statements,” his statement also read.
A claim posted on Facebook about the holy Quran being desecrated during the celebration of the Hindu festival of Durga Puja on 13 October sparked massive violence across several districts in Bangladesh. At least 10 people have been killed, around 1,000 have sustained injuries, and women have been raped by frenzied gatherings of people, according to reports.
In response, the Bangladeshi authorities have arrested nearly 500 people and lodged dozens of cases against individuals involved in the violence.
According to bdnews24.com, police have also arrested Iqbal Hossain, the man suspected of placing the Quran at the Hindu festival venue on 13 October, has also been arrested.
At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called for strict action against those involved in anti-Hindu violence and also urged people not to “react” to rumours.
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