Demand Inquiry into the role of police, prompt actions against culprits

Leaders of the four leading Muslim organisations of the country have demanded an inquiry into the role of the state police and administration in Tripura’s anti-Muslim violence, which tarnished the image of India, globally. They were addressing a joint press conference organised by All India Muslim Majlis- e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadees Hind and All India Milli Council at Press Club of India in the Capital on November 6, subsequently returning from Tripura’s violence affected areas.

According to the delegation’s report, as many as 16 mosques were attacked in various parts of Tripura, including two in the state capital Agartala, of which four were totally burnt down, and even copies of the Holy Qur’ān were not spared.

AIMMM president Navaid Hamid said, “Tripura does not have a history of communal violence and strife but ever since communal people have taken charge of the helm of affairs in the state, such incidents of communal violence and vandalism have started taking place. It seems the communal violence in Tripura is a part of a political agenda to create communal and religious polarisation throughout the country for political gains in other states, where assembly elections are fast approaching. The delegation stayed in Tripura for three days and met the victims, the local population including non-Muslims. We tried to meet the CM of Tripura and the DG Police, but they did not meet the delegation. These incidents of violence and vandalism did not occur spontaneously. They appear to be orchestrated. People were incited and provoked against Muslims. Promoting hate against a community is a big crime. Mosques were especially targeted so that the Muslim community is demoralised and their identity is attacked. They should be terrorised and become victims of fear and anxiety. This is extremely damaging for both Tripura and the entire country.”

JIH Vice President Prof. Salim expressed shock over the filing of cases and invoking the anti-terror law like UAPA against members of the fact find teams, journalists and activists for sharing the news of the anti-Muslim violence, instead of taking strong action against miscreants and rioters. He said, “The police and the administration should have taken timely action against the perpetrators of violence. If timely action were taken, then maybe these incidents of violence and vandalism could have been prevented. The anti-social elements and communal mischief mongers are emboldened by the belief that they will be shielded by the government.”

Condemning the sharing of fake news and images on social media to create communal strife, hatred and fear among communities, Prof. Salim Engineer said, “We must check that and should not forward such content. In Tripura too, such fake news was created to spread fear and hatred. Islam also teaches us to verify news before spreading it.”

The press conference was also addressed by Milli Council’s Shams Tabriz Qasmi and Pervez Miyan. However, Muslim leaders expressed some satisfaction over the role of the common citizens of Tripura who have not participated in the unlawful activities of the goons of VHP and Bajrang Dal and had maintained peace and amity. “It is also noteworthy that Muslim community in spite of being the target of the perpetrators of violence had not reacted to any of the provocations and had maintained peace and tranquillity,” they added.

Muslims leaders, during the press conference, jointly demanded the government to conduct an inquiry to find out the police officers who had committed dereliction of duty during the violence. They said, “We feel that the police and the administration are directly under the state government. The state government is yet to initiate any big action against those who perpetrated violence. We also demanded that the Tripura government should provide adequate compensation to the victims, repair the mosques that have been vandalised. The government must identify and arrest the culprits behind the dreadful incidents of violence that took place in Panisagar. The police have all the footage of the violence. Those police officers who did not prevent the violence should also be subject to enquiry and action must be taken against them.”

A joint delegation comprising AIMMM President Navaid Hamid, JIH Vice President Prof Salim Engineer, JIH Secretary Maulana Shafi Madani, Jamiat Ahle Hadees Secretary Maulana Sheesh Taimi and Milli Council’s Shams Tabrez Qasmi visited the affected areas of state from 31st October to 2nd November 2021. They were joined by the state leaders of JIH, Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) and Imarat-e-Shariah (North-East).

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