RAM SENA CHIEF CALLS FOR ‘BABRI LIKE’ DEMOLITION IN GADAG
In a brazen attempt to incite communal violence against Muslims in the state, Pramod Muthalik, the chief of the extremist Hindu outfit Sri Ram Sena said that the Jumma Masjid in Karnataka’s Gadag “should be demolished,” in a similar way that Babri Masjid was demolished in Ayodhya, reported the Cognate on October 18. Speaking in Gadag on October 17, at an event on alleged religious conversions, Muthalik said, “We had to fight for 72 years for Ram Temple in Ayodhya. After 72 long years, Babri Masjid was removed and Ram Temple will be built there. Similarly, a new campaign will start to demolish the Jumma Masjid in Gadag to build Venkateshwara Temple”. Muthalik’s threat comes just three weeks after the brutal murder and beheading of a Muslim man in Belagavi by members of the Sri Ram Sena Hindustan, a breakaway offshoot of his organisation.
CHHATTISGARH HINDUTVA LEADER CALLS FOR BEHEADING MINORITIES
On October 1, 2021, a massive protest rally was organised in Chhattisgarh’s Surguja district. The ‘protest’ was against the alleged spike in ‘forced conversion of Hindus’ into Christianity, reported The Wire on October 21. At the rally, attended by many BJP bigwigs, Swami Parmatmanand called for targeted killings of minorities involved in these alleged forced conversions. “I am a saint. I don’t care, I will tell you clearly. Ramvichar ji has said the same thing but he is a little unclear. Keep a lathi at home…In our villages, people keep hand-axes. Why do they keep axes? Why do you keep a farsa? Behead them – those who come for conversion…. I am telling you; anyone who comes into your house, street, neighbourhood, village, don’t forgive them,” he said. What’s more worrying than the priest’s violent call to arms is the fact that while he exhorted hundreds of listeners to behead Christians, influential leaders of the BJP in Chhattisgarh like Ramvichar Netam, Nand Kumar Sai and BJP spokesperson Anurag Singh Deo were present on the stage.
MUSLIM POPULATION RATE FELL MORE THAN HINDUS’ IN 20 YEARS
While India’s Muslim population grew faster than the Hindu population between 1991 and 2001 and then between 2001 and 2011, the pace of growth declined more dramatically for Muslims than Hindus over these two decades, census data shows. Indeed, of all major religious communities in the country, the smallest decline in population growth between these two decades was in the case of Hindus while smaller groups such as Jains and Buddhists saw the sharpest drops. The 1991 census did not cover Jammu & Kashmir. Excluding Jammu & Kashmir, the country’s overall population grew by 21.5% from 1991 to 2001, but by a lower 17.7% between 2001 and 2011. Muslim population growth dropped by 4.7 percentage points from 29.3% to 24.6%, while the Christian, Sikhs, Buddhist and Jain population groups saw even larger declines.
BD MEMBERS DANCE WITH SWORDS ON NORTH K’NATAKA ROAD
A video of scores of people from the Bajrang Dal dancing with swords in the middle of the road in Karnataka’s Belagavi district went viral on social media. The procession was reportedly held on October 13, on the eve of Ayudha Pooja. The members in the procession were seen violating COVID-19 protocols, with no one wearing masks or maintaining physical distance. Another video, which also went viral, showed several women allegedly belonging to Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), carrying swords in public as part of Dasara celebrations. This incident reportedly took place at Nargund taluk in Gadag district, which neighbours Belagavi. Meanwhile, in Udupi, the police have booked members of Hindu Jagarana Vedika, who took out a march for Durga Doud on October 15. The Udupi police are also reportedly looking into allegations of trishuls being distributed by Bajrang Dal and VHP members on Ayudha Pooja on October 14 to fight ‘love jihad’. A similar event reportedly took place in Dakshina Kannada district as well. These incidents come just days after a 24-year-old Muslim youth named Arbaaz Aftab was murdered at Khanapur taluk in Belagavi.
POLICE FINED FOR DELAYING TACTICS IN DELHI RIOTS CASE
A Delhi court imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on the prosecution, to be deducted from the salary of the alleged erring officer, for delay in moving an application for segregation of complaints and conducting further investigation in a northeast Delhi riots case, a report said on October 18. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg directed the state to pay the fine to all the seven accused in equal proportion, while noting that the delay led to undue harassment of the accused people, two of whom are still in judicial custody. The court directed the Commissioner of Police to furnish a detailed report regarding steps taken by him to ensure proper investigation/prosecution of the cases pertaining to NE Delhi riots and their expeditious trial within a period of seven days.
MUSLIMS ATTACKED IN DIFFERENT INCIDENTS ON DUSSEHRA NIGHT
Three Muslim men are reportedly attacked by Hindu Mob on the last day of Dussehra in different incidents in Bihar Sharif, Bihar’s Nalanda district on October 15, Maktoob Media reported on October 17. Police have filed FIR in at least one attack. Md Raza, Saddam Qureshi and Md Aasif were attacked on Dashmi, last day of Dussehra, after being identified as Muslims, the victims were told as saying. Md Raza, 23, was attacked while returning from market. “There was a rush of Dashmi. Someone from the crowd asked me: ‘Are you a Hindu or a Muslim?’ I replied: ‘Muslim.’ Then someone said from the crowd “Maar Miya Saale ko” [Attack Muslims] and then they started beating me”. Raza claims that the mob looted him and raised anti-Muslim slurs while beating mercilessly.
‘FACEBOOK TURNED A BLIND EYE TO ANTI-MUSLIM HATE SPEECH’
There has been a massive leak of internal documents from Facebook and several whistleblowers have come forward to claim that the company is not doing enough to stop or curb hate speech and propaganda. The report notes that even in cases where Facebook identifies clear examples of hate speech and propaganda, mostly against Indian Muslims, it doesn’t act. A new report by the Wall Street Journal, which is based on documents leaked from Facebook, says Facebook researchers have repeatedly identified a sustained and widely prevalent anti-Muslim hate speech and propaganda on Facebook pages and groups in the last two years, and particularly after December 2019 when protests against CAA started. However, despite their discoveries, notes the report, Facebook mostly ignored the findings of its own researchers and let the Facebook Pages and Groups spreading hate speech continue on the platform.