‘Halal’ certification is a form of jihad, says Hindu Aikya Vedi

Date: 4 January 2021

Category: Hate speech

Hindu Aikya Vedi, a Hindutva outfit operating out of Kerala, alleged that restaurants and other businesses operating with the ‘halal’ sticker on them was a form of jihad that was smuggling religious dogmas. This could damage communal harmony, it said. Such practices were forcing Islamic beliefs on unislamic countries. The government should stop halal certification, the organization demanded.






Communal rumours circulated over suicide attempt

Date: 4 January 2021

Category: Hate speech

After the newly elected Panchayat president of Thenjippalam, Kerala, attempted suicide over reported mental stress, fake news claming that he had come under pressure to convert to lslam began circulating online. According to general secretary of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee K P Noushad Ali, this news was circulating in thousands of Whatsapp groups, including in north India. Vijith, a Youth Congress activist who had won the recently concluded local elections on an Indian Union Muslim League ticket, had reportedly attempted suicide and had been hospitalized. Noushad Ali, in a Facebook post, stated that Vijith had been taken aback by the unexpected win and had taken the step out of mental stress. However, rumours claimed that Vijith was being forced to convert to Islam. This was completely untrue, Noushad Ali clarified in his post.







Citizenship: Family of four in Assam, including two small children, released after a year in detention

Date: 1 January 2021

Category: Discrimination

After a year-and-a-half in a detention centre as ‘illegal foreigners’, the New Year brought freedom and citizenship to Mohammad Nur Hussain, 34, his wife Sahera Begum, 26, and their two minor children, who were declared Indians in a re-trial by a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT). While the names of Hussain’s grandparents feature in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of 1951, his father’s name, along with that of his grandparents, was in the 1965 voters’ list. Begum’s father too had appeared in NRC 1951 and the voter list of 1966, and the family has land documents dating back to 1958-59. The cut-off date to identify an Indian citizen in Assam is March 24, 1971. Yet, none of this was worth much as police in Guwahati began investigating the couple’s citizenship credentials in 2017. In August that year, Begum’s case was referred to FT No. 4 of Kamrup (Metro) district and in January the following year, the same was done for Hussain. “We are both unlettered and were in no position to make sense of the documents or what we were supposed to do,” Hussain said. While Hussain managed a lawyer for himself by paying Rs 4,000, his wife went unrepresented at the tribunal. On August 28, 2018, however, Hussain’s lawyer pulled out of the case, after which he missed successive hearings at the FT. On May 29, 2018, the FT declared Begum a ‘foreigner’, and Hussain was declared one on March 30 the following year. Section 9 of the Foreigners’ Act says the onus of proving that a person is not a foreigner lies on the person. Thus, when he/she does not appear before the FT, the member can proceed ex parte. In June 2019, as the couple were arrested and sent to the detention centre in Goalpara district. “There was no one to take care of the children. Our relatives are in the village, so we took our children (aged 7 and 5) with us to the detention centre,” Begum said, adding that her elder son Shahjahan had to be pulled out of school. With the couple in jail, some of their relatives reached out to Aman Wadud, a Guwahati-based human rights lawyer, who, along with advocates Syed Burhanur Rehman and Zakir Hussain, represented them in the Gauhati High Court and later on in the FT. “Not everyone who is accused of being a ‘foreigner’ gets lawyers. Many Indian citizens are becoming stateless because they can’t even afford legal representation,” Wadud told The Indian Express. On October 9, the HC set aside the FT’s orders and ordered a retrial. On December 16, a couple of weeks after the couple walked out on bail, the FT declared Hussain an Indian citizen. On December 30, Begum too was cleared of the foreigner tag.






Imam attacked inside mosque 

Date: 3 September 2020

Category: Hate violence


At least twelve unidentified people were booked for allegedly attacking an imam in Alipur Khalsa village of Karnal’s Gharaunda subdivision, police said. The victim, Mohammad Ehsan of Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat, underwent treatment at Kalpana Chawla medical college, where his condition is stated to be stable. The victim told the police that he was attacked when he was offering prayers in a mosque. “At least 12 people turned up and attacked me with sharp-edged weapons, rods and sticks,” he added. Acting on his statement, the police registered an FIR under sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 452 (trespass), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 148 (rioting), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and launched an investigation.






Muslim man’s face blackened, paraded on donkey 

Date: 29 December 2020

Category: Hate violence

A 56-year-old man was assaulted and paraded on a donkey after his face was blackened by the local residents of Aksa village in Badaun district. Police have arrested two people in this connection. The incident took place in the Bisauli police station area on December 29. Police identified the victim as Baddan Ali, a native of Aksa village. A video of the incident went viral on 31 December where Ali is seen sitting on a donkey with his face blackened, while a crowd is seen asking him questions. Some of the attackers alleged that he had harassed a local woman. However, police told reporters that they had not received any complaint from the woman or her family against the Muslim man. “The incident happened on December 29. The next day, we got a complaint against four people and lodged a case in this connection. In his complaint, the victim has alleged that he was humiliated, abused, beaten up, and paraded with his face blackened in the village by a group of people led by Vipin, Suresh, Vijendra and Madanlal. The complainant has not stated why he was assaulted. The accused are in their thirties,” said Bisauli police station SHO Rajeev Sharma. However, on 31 December, the victim’s son said that his father had been missing since the incident, and they have not been able to locate him through personal efforts or through the police. 







Truck driver transporting cattle attacked

Date: 27 August 2020

Category: Hate violence

A mob thrashed a Muslim truck driver ferrying bovine animals at a cow ranch in a village in Adilabad district of Telangana in the presence of the police, local media reports said. A video clip available on YouTube shows the driver recalling the attack. “They beat me a lot. They were 10-12 people.” says the victim driver who has been identified as Ahmad, a resident of Jainoor. “I can identify them. They beat me in the presence of the police.” According to reports, one person named Aryan informed the police that a truck going from Jainoor town to the Armoor area was carrying bovines. The police swung into action and seized the truck and filed the case against the owner of the truck. Later, they took the truck to a village cow ranch. There, Aryan, along with his supporters, attacked and thrashed Ahmad. He was badly injured in the attack and taken to hospital.







Mob beats up Muslim shepherd in Reasi district for chasing cows from field

Date: 16 August 2020

Category: Hate violence

A video purportedly showing a shepherd being roughed up allegedly by cow vigilantes in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir went viral on social media, prompting intervention by police, which said all the accused were arrested. Mohammad Asgar suffered serious wounds and was shifted to hospital for treatment. A few days ago cows owned by a person from another community had allegedly strayed into Asgar’s fields. Seemingly fearing damage to the barn, Asgar’s son allegedly shooed away the animals from the field.  However, it angered the community members who rushed to Asgar's field. Shouting slogans, ‘Desh Ke Gadroon Ko… Goli Maroo sa*** Ko’, they thrashed Asgar in full public view.  The video showed a police team rushing towards the crowd to save the victim who was lying on the ground. Police took cognisance of the video shared on Twitter showing a group of youth roughing up Ahmed in a forest area where he had reportedly gone for grazing his cattle.







Bihar doctor assaulted by BJP leader for comments on Modi

Date: 13 August 2020

Category: Hate violence

A local BJP leader named Sujit Puri, accompanied by his supporters, barged into the clinic of a Muslim doctor in Chhapra, Bihar and assaulted him for posting “offensive” comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Modji is our God,” the man can be heard saying in a video of the incident. He also calls the doctor “mad”. He then asks the doctor to apologize. Puri and his supporters also began to chant “Jai Sri Ram”. FIRs were registered against the attackers as well as the doctor. The doctor was arrested. 






Journalists covering harassment of Muslims attacked 

Date: 12 August 2020

Category: Hate violence

Three journalists associated with The Caravan, including a Muslim and a woman, were attacked by locals when they tried to report on an alleged anti-Muslim incident that had taken place in the locality. The journalists were reporting on the harassment of the neighbourhood’s Muslim women by their Hindu neighbours when they were accosted by a hostile group of men and women at around 2.30 pm, and harassed, mugged and manhandled in Subhash Mohalla in Northeast Delhi’s North Ghonda area. One of the journalists, a woman, has alleged that she was sexually harassed and physically assaulted by the group, including being flashed by a middle-aged man. The other two journalists, Prabhjit Singh and Shahid Tantray, told Newslaundry that they were cornered and locked inside Lane 2 of Subhash Mohalla by the group and heckled and beaten until they were extricated by police personnel around 3.30 pm. “They [the group] were insisting that we delete everything we shot in the area. We told them that they cannot force us like that, but talk to us instead,” Singh said. “They became very abusive and asked us to show our identity cards. The moment Shahid showed his ID card — and I’m saying it with conviction — they started hitting him because he’s Muslim. They didn’t hit me. Had I not been there, they would have thrashed him like anything.” The episode has injected another mix of fear and anxiety in the neighbourhood, whose residents have been complaining of harassment since the communal carnage in February this year. “If they’re treating journalists with such impunity, just imagine the plight of Muslims here,” an eyewitness said.







Saffron flags planted outside Muslim homes, complainants harrassed by police

Date: 8 August 2020

Category: Hate violence 

Six months after the February carnage in Delhi’s Northeast district, the tremors of the riots are still being felt. The Muslim women of Subhash Mohalla in North Ghonda felt it first hand, when saffron flags came up on the gate of their locality shortly after the midnight of August 5, purportedly accompanied by incendiary sloganeering. The local Hindus in the neighbourhood were celebrating the bhoomi pujan of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, and the celebration extended late into the night. “Between 1 and 2 am on August 6, eight to 10 men were sloganeering ‘Jai Shri Ram’ outside our lane,” says Shaheen, 38, who runs a small shop. “Then they raised obscene slogans like ‘Mullo bahar jao’, ‘Suaron bahar jao’.” Muslims, get out. Pigs, get out. A green thread hangs loosely on the gate. Shaheen says it is a firecracker that the men hung from the gate the previous night and set off to ‘terrorise’ the Muslim residents. On August 8, when some of the women in the mohalla, including a minor girl, went to the police station to demand that an FIR be registered about the incident, they were allegedly violently and repeatedly slapped, manhandled, threatened and subjected to sexual assault by police officers present at Bhajanpura police station. On February 25, a resident of a neighbouring lane in Subhash Mohalla was shot dead and another injured by a mob.The lanes in Subhash Mohalla are slit by a thin street that sunders them into majority Hindu and Muslim neighbourhoods. The other side of the lane is populated with saffron flags embedded with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in bold. 






Delhi violence: FIR on murder of Muslim man omits many Hindu names

Date: 18 July 2020

Category: Discrimination

After a Muslim man was shot and killed in Delhi’s Northeast district during the February riots, his brother and friend, who were both witnesses to his killing, allege that several names that they had given were missing from the FIR filed by the police. It was the third day of the communal carnage in the capital that left at least 53 people dead and hundreds injured. Shamshad, 25, who was shot in his abdomen moments before Maruf, remembers the faces in the mob, and so does Haroon: they were their neighbours. “The names we gave to the Delhi police on multiple occasions do not find any mention in the chargesheet,” Haroon complained. “The men who killed him still roam free in the neighbourhood and harass us.” The chargesheet, accessed by Newslaundry, shows that only two are Hindu and the rest Muslim. The chargesheet as well as the FIR and the information provided by the police point to contradictions in its version of the incident and lapses in the investigation. Then there are allegations of fabrication and distortion of recorded statements which the victims see as an attempt to save the actual murderers who live in the same neighbourhood as Maruf’s family. Shamshad told Newslaundry that he was out to buy milk when he was attacked. When Haroon and Maruf rushed towards Shamshad, Ram Singh, a local man who was allegedly leading the mob, yelled “Maar saale kattuon ko”. “Sonu, another local who had a gun, then shot at my brother. It hit him near the eye,” Haroon said. The crowd had also been chanting “Jai Sree Ram’ and ‘Maardo in Mullo ko”.  In the evening on February 26, an FIR regarding Maruf’s killing was registered at the Bhajanpura police station. When Haroon got a copy of the FIR a few days later, he found that it did not name the men he had told the police shot Maruf and Shamshad. There was no separate FIR for the attack on Shamshad.







Court says Delhi police investigation into riots ‘targeted towards one end’

Date: 28 May 2020

Category: Discrimination

A Delhi court dealing with cases related to the northeast Delhi riots, being handled by the Special Cell of the Delhi police, observed on May 27 that “the investigation seems to be targeted only towards one end”. During the hearing of a plea filed against the 30-day custody of Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha in a case, registered under FIR No. 59 of 2020 of Special Cell, the Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana made strong observations regarding the investigation. He was quoted by The Quint as having said: “Perusal of the case diary reveals a disturbing fact. The investigation seems to be targeted only towards one end. Upon enquiry from Inspector Lokesh and Anil, they have failed to point out what investigation has been carried out so far regarding the involvement of the rival faction.” It has been claimed by the counsel of many of the accused, along with civil society members, academics, feminists and activists, that the Delhi police have not been acting fairly in dealing with the cases and that there has been bias against mainly Muslim anti-CAA protesters, who have been booked. Questions have also been raised as to why BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma and Anurag Thakur – the last of whom is Minister of State for Finance – whose speeches are believed to have stirred violence have not been investigated at all.







Muslim man held for selling ‘Takur’ shoes

Date: 6 January 2021

Category: Hate violence


A local Bajrang Dal leader filed an FIR with serious charges against a Muslim shopkeeper in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr for selling ‘thakur’ brand shoes on 5 January. Vishal Chauhan, district coordinator of Bajrang Dal, told The Quint, “I was informed by one of our karyakartas that a Muslim shopkeeper Nasir was selling shoes with ‘thakur’ written underneath it in the local market of Gulaothi. When I went there to check, he showed us the shoes. We took him to the police station and now a probe has started to find the manufacturer of the shoe brand.” An FIR with sections 153A (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 323 (for voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the IPC were filed against the man and he was taken in police custody. After a couple of people called out the UP police for detaining the Muslim shopkeeper despite him not manufacturing the shoes, the Bulandshahr Police wrote in a tweet that if they had not acted, “Some people would have reacted badly.” The man was released later. 







Video falsely circulated as Muslim protestors chanting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’

Date: 29 December 2019

The video of an anti-CAA protest organized by the AIMIM party in Lucknow on December 13 was shared widely on social media and TV channels with the claim that the protestors were shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. However, a closer analysis of the video revealed that the protestors were actually shouting ‘Kashif Saab Zindabad’, indicating a leader of AIMIM. Among others, the clip was shared on his Twitter account by BJP IT Cell head Amit Malyviya and the channels Republic TV and Zee News. Republic TV’s claim that ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ had been mentioned in the FIR related to the protest was also found to be false. A case of sedition that had been booked against the organizers was dropped by December 18. 





Meerut SP asks anti-CAA protestors to go to Pakistan

Date: 28 December 2019

Category: Hate speech

A senior police officer in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district was filmed asking residents of a Muslim-dominated locality to “go to Pakistan” during protest against the amended Citizenship Act on December 20, The Indian Express reported. Superintendent of Police (City) of Meerut Akhilesh Narayan Singh is seen walking in a narrow lane wearing riot gear. He then stops at a place where few Muslim men are seen standing and then says: “Where will you go? I will set this lane right now that you have given me this chance”. He was reportedly referring to four protestors being chased by police. One of the men standing there tells the police that they were offering their prayers. “That’s fine,” Singh tells them. “The ones tying black and yellow bands, tell them to go to Pakistan. You eat here but sing praises of another place...This lane is now familiar to me. And once I remember, I can even reach your grandmother.” The police officer, surrounded by other personnel, also warned the men that if something happened then every man in the lane will be jailed. “If something happens, you guys will pay the price,” Singh is heard saying on record. “Every man from each house will be arrested.”







Accident during Muharram procession portrayed as sword attack on Hindu boy

Date: 25 September 2018

Category: Hate speech

After several Twitter handles claimed that a Hindu boy, a class 6 student, had been attacked by sword-wielding Muslims during a Muharram procession, police in the area clarified that the story was false. The incident allegedly took place in Gauri Bazar area of Deoria district in Uttar Pradesh.  Circle Officer Varun Mishra of Deoria Police clarified, “Amar Ujala has misreported. We had also tweeted the details about the incident. His principal who was also present at the spot said he was injured in a tube light explosion. It was unintentional and an accident.” District Magistrate Amit Kishore also corroborated that the boy was injured in a tubelight explosion. “(In Deoria’s Gauri Bazaar, Islamic terrorists in a Muharram procession slit Hindu boy Vishal Ojha’s throat. The question is why haven't the Islamic terrorists been arrested yet? (translation)” a social media user had tweeted on 21 September 2018.






Relief given to Delhi riot victims falsely circulated as Shaheen Bagh protestors getting paid

Date: 2 March 2020

Category: Hate speech

A video massively viral across social media channels was shared with the recurring claim that individuals protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) were being paid to agitate. From a Facebook group ‘We Support Narendra Modi’, the post received 64,000 shares. Several people commenting on the video called for the murder of ‘such protestors’. Many others used filthy language targeting the Muslim community. Amit Bajaj, the person who shared the video on the group, wrote, “This is the proof. They are being paid for rioting and stone-pelting.” Asianet News penned an article on the video, claiming that protesters in Shaheen Bagh distributed money to women. However, Chennai-based activist Chandra Mohan went to the same location and recorded a video debunking social media claims. “On that day, this was on [February] 28th, this place is basically called Babu Nagar, A block, Gali number 9. A lot of people from Shiv Vihar – the victims affected in Shiv Vihar – have come over here. A lot of them are staying here because they have lost their homes. So the people here magnanimously opened their heart and homes, and they’re all [the victims] are staying in different homes here.” Chandra Mohan subsequently introduced a man named Shahzad Malik: “He is the one you saw in the video distributing cash. Mr Malik is right here. In fact, we asked him to wear the same dress so that you know we’re telling the truth.” Chandra Mohan claimed that Malik provided ration to victims but it was eventually exhausted due to the large number of victims.






Despite denials by government, NIA, Christian segment claims ‘love jihad’ exists in Kerala

Date: 17 January 2020

Category: Hate speech


Kerala’s Syro-Malabar Church alleged that nearly 12 Christian women have been converted to Islam through ‘love jihad’ in the last three years and taken to Syria where some of them might even have been killed. The church issued a statement, expressing concern over the “rising number of love jihad” cases in the state and called it a part of a larger agenda of the Islamic State (IS) to “threaten the religious and social harmony of Kerala”. Several suspected cases of ‘love jihad’ have been reported in Kerala with the Hadiya case being the most famous among them. While initially, it was alleged to be a ‘love jihad’ case, the Supreme Court finally ruled that it wasn’t. The National Investigative Agency had also conducted several probes into allegations of love jihad in the state, and verified that the claims were false. According to a resolution passed by the church, Christian women in Kerala were being targeted and killed in the name of ‘love jihad’. Denouncing the church’s claims of an increase in ‘love jihad’ cases, Kerala Minister for Minorities Welfare K.T. Jaleel told ThePrint the allegations are “completely baseless and exaggerated”. Jaleel said ‘love jihad’ does not exist in Kerala and that police have conducted detailed investigations into such suspected cases and found no evidence of ‘love jihad’ in them. 






Hindutva outfits calls for boycott of Muslim, Christian shops in Tamil Nadu

Date: 24 October 2019

Category: Hate speech

After the owner of a textile store in Coimbatore, who is a follower of Periyar, allegedly made some remarks against Hindu gods, Hindutva outfits in Tamil Nadu called for the boycott of businesses owned by atheists, Muslims and Christians during Diwali. Karappan Silks owner, Karappan, who is a staunch follower of Dravidian icon Periyar, participated in a Dravidar Kazhagam outfit’s meeting in Coimbatore. In the meeting, he allegedly criticized the Hindu gods Aththivaradhar and Krishna. Days after the meeting, the video of his speech went viral and subsequently, he had to apologise saying he didn’t mean to hurt the sentiments of Hindus. Following the incident, BJP National Secretary H Raja tweeted asking the people to boycott purchasing clothes from Karappan silks in Sirumugai. Adding that people should refrain from shopping from people like Karappan, atheists, Muslims, and Christians, Raja called for Hindu unity. Similarly, Hindu outfits in the Delta region and in deep southern districts, have also been vigorously campaigning to boycott Christian and Muslims shops, who denied entry for  Ganesh Chathurthi procession through their streets. In a poster put up by the Hindu outfits in Sivagangai district,  it was stated that “Don’t buy goods from the shops of the Muslim and Christian people who are rejecting the Hindu religion processions (through their street Nehru Bazaar). Purchase from Hindus shops and improve the livelihood of the Hindus.”






Times Now misreports man firing at Muslims, calls it #ShaheenLynchModel

Date: 12 March 2020

Category: Hate speech

A Times Now broadcast of March 5 ran a video of a man in red, wearing a helmet, opening fire during communal riots in Delhi. “New video of Delhi violence surfaces. Video reportedly from Maujpur…This is the 4th video of attack on police,” the channel claimed. The video was tweeted using #ShaheenLynchModel. A day later, the same clip was tweeted by BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya who insinuated that the shooter was a member of the Muslim community. He wrote, “Another video of a ‘peaceful’ protestor firing at the cops? What kind of a ‘pogrom’ is this where rioters are firing indiscriminately at the police force?” The 14-second clip was retweeted close to 9,000 times. However, fact-checking website AltNews found that Times Now’s claim that the video is “new” evidence of an attack on the police was false.A longer version of the ‘exclusive’ clip played by the channel had been circulating on social media since February 25. A Twitter user shared a 25-second video and wrote that members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bajrang Dal opened fire at Muslims in Vijay Park. Alt News was able to find the person, identity concealed at request, who took the video of the shooting on February 25. This person had uploaded it on Snapchat at 12:12 pm and saved it in the ‘memories’ section of the application. Abhinay Lakshman, a correspondent with Millenium Post, who had extensively reported on the violence, confirmed that the mob – of which the shooter was a part – comprised CAA supporters.






Muslim youth forced to chant ‘Jai Sri Ram’ in Andhra Pradesh

Date: 7 January 2021

Category: Hate speech

A 26-year-old Muslim man was allegedly stopped and manhandled by a man before being forced to chant ‘Jai Sri Ram’ at Auto Nagar area in Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh. The accused, identified as Ramakrishna, was a private motorcycle shop employee, and was later detained by police for questioning. The victim was wearing a skull cap and said Ramakrishna had abused him and threatened him.





Crowd gathers outside mosque in MP, chants ‘Jai Sri Ram’

Date: 4 january 2021

Category: Hate violence

Days after a mob led by Hindu outfits attacked a mosque in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district, another incident of people gathering outside a mosque with saffron flags and shouting slogans reportedly took place in Rajgarh district on 3 January. In a video shared online, a large number of people can be seen with saffron flags with the Hindu deity Hanuman printed on it, gathered outside a mosque and shouting various slogans including “Jai Shri Ram”. The incident was reported from outside the Markaz Masjid in Jirapur, Rajgarh when some Hindu outfits were taking out a rally for Ram Temple. However, no untoward incident occurred as no one from the Muslim community interfered or tried to confront the gathering.