Anti-Muslim Sentiments Accelerate in Modi’s India: Another Mosque Turns Into RubblesFebruary 13, 2024
In a disturbing turn of events, the death toll in the ongoing violence related to the demolition of ‘Mosque’ in Haldwani, a town in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, has surged to five, as reported. The violence on its fifth consecutive day resulted in strict measures, including a curfew and an internet shutdown in the Banbhoolpura area of Haldwani within the Nainital district.
The tumult began when officials initiated a drive to demolish a madrasa (Muslim school) and an adjoining Mosque. The ensuing clash between authorities and protesters resulted in a tragic death toll, with five casualties reported on Saturday, and three individuals sustaining serious injuries.
Despite the severity of the situation, authorities assured the public that normalcy had been restored in Haldwani, leading to the lifting of the curfew. However, restrictions persist in Banbhoolpura, where the violence originated. According to reports, many protesters have been arrested in connection with the incidents, and ongoing investigations aim to bring further clarity to the circumstances surrounding the clashes.
Officials claim that the demolished structures were not registered as religious entities in government records. In contrast, local residents contend that the madrasa and the mosque had been present for more than a half-decade. This discrepancy in perspectives adds complexity to the situation, reflecting a broader issue of disagreement between authorities and the local populace regarding the legitimacy of these structures.
The incident in Uttarakhand echoes recent controversial demolitions in India, including the destruction of a mosque in the capital, believed to be 600 years old. In that case, the mosque claimed that no prior notice had been served before its demolition, highlighting a recurring theme of insufficient communication and coordination between authorities and affected communities.
International human rights organization Amnesty International has voiced concern over what it deems “unlawful” demolitions of Muslim properties in India. Earlier this month, they called on Indian authorities to immediately cease such actions, drawing attention to the potential violation of human rights in the process. As the situation in Uttarakhand unfolds, it underscores the importance of transparency and a collaborative approach between authorities and Muslims to prevent further escalation of tensions and loss of life.