India: Fears of Communal Violence after Hindu Radicals Thrash Muslim

Riyaz - India Communal Violence

After unbelievable and shocking video footage of brutalities against a Muslim man surfaced across social media platforms, fears of communal violence have risen in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The footage, which was recorded and posted by a local news website, shows the victim (Riyaz) being thrashed mercilessly by members of Bajrang Dal, a militant Hindu organization whose ideologies are based on Hindu fundamentalism.

In the video, Riyaz can be seen bleeding profusely, as he is paraded on the streets by a group of angry youngsters who relentlessly allege that the Muslim man was caught slaughtering a cow.  They go on to threaten that the same treatment will be met out to any person that is caught slaughtering cows. The cow is regarded as a sacred animal by some Hindus. 

“Gau hatya kar raha tha. Yehi anjam hoga gau hatya karne walon ka,” they can be heard screaming.

Riyaz, who hails from Shamli district in Muzaffarnagar, said that he was innocent, as he was only sitting at a place where a cow had been slaughtered. Yet, in one of the videos, police officials are seen arresting Riyaz and taking absolutely no action against the radicals of Bajrang Dal.

As soon as the incident found a foothold in India’s news media, various individuals with vested interests started to politicize the matter, with local civil groups blaming the ruling Samajvadi Party and its political umbrella Bharatiya Janta Party (both of which happen to have pro-Hindu agendas) of once again stirring communal tension in the area.

Rajiv Yadav of Rihayi Manch, said, “The way a Muslim youth was paraded throughout the city and beaten for two hours while members of Bajrang Dal continued to hurl abuses on the Muslim community at large, it shows that both the SP and the BJP are hell bent on creating communal tension in the area. Far from arresting these thugs, the police have now locked up the victim Riyaz.”

The police refused to comment on Riyaz’s situation.

In 2013, Muzaffarnagar had witnessed one of the worst communal riots in recent memory, with over 50 people being killed and 100 others being injured. The area has continued to see sporadic incidents of sectarian violence since then.

Photo Credits: Islam Times

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