tirsdag 19. april 2022

‘Hatred, bigotry and untruth’: communal violence grips India

The procession had begun peacefully. Marching through the streets of Delhi’s Jahangirpuri district on Saturday, the devotees had gathered to celebrate the Hindu festival of Hanuman Jayanti. But the peace did not last long. As the evening drew in, an unauthorised parade began to gather. This time, men clad in saffron, the signature colour of Hindu nationalism, filled the streets brandishing swords and pistols, and started to shout provocative communal slogans.

Previous agreements between Hindu and Muslim residents for the procession to avoid passing by a local mosque, which was holding evening prayers, were ignored.

“A Hindu mob smashed beer bottles inside the mosque, put up saffron flags there and chanted Jai Shri Ram [Hail Lord Ram],” said Tabreez Khan, 39, a witness. “A caretaker of the mosque started resisting them, leading to a brawl. It was only after they started to desecrate the mosque that Muslims got angry and clashes started and stones were thrown.”