30, Oct 2021 | CJP Team
Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has written to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) over the targeted attacks experienced by members of the Muslim minority in Tripura. Over the last few days, mosques have been allegedly vandalised by right-wing groups. Further, shops and houses owned by Muslims have also not been spared by these mobs who are carrying out attacks as a retaliation to the attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh.
During the Durga Puja festival in Bangladesh, incidents of vandalism were reported from Hindu temples which led to aggravated violence that left three people dead and dozens injured. The Bangladesh government was forced to deploy paramilitary forces in 22 districts.
After this news surfaced, Tripura has been seeing “outbreaks of retaliatory targeted violence” where Muslims are being targeted and certain homegrown extremist groups are taking the law into their own hands. Muslim families have been living in fear and distress over the past few days. Over 15 mosques have been reportedly vandalised and shops only owned by Muslims have been ransacked by goons.
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CJP’s complaint has referred to reports by the news portal Maktoob Media, as per which, districts in Unakoti, North Tripura, West Tripura, Sepahijala and Gomati have been impacted by the violence. Several mosques in these regions have been allegedly vandalised and burnt down.
As per reports, on October 26, the grocery stores, ration shops, and godown owned by one Nizamuddin and one Amiruddin were set on fire during the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) rally. They allegedly burnt down Amiruddin’s three shops – two grocery stores, and a godown – which led to a loss of at least Rs 10 lakh. Amiruddin is reportedly the sole earning source in his 13-member family.
A rally was organised by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) which was moving by Assam-Agartala roads to Chamtila via Roa Bazar. It was reported that some miscreant groups from the rally allegedly set fire on shops. Additionally, they allegedly invaded homes of residents living near the market (Roa Bazar) and sexually molested women. They had also planned to attack Roa Jame Mosque, as per a complaint written by a group of 7 Muslims to the Panisagar police station.
CJP has urged the commission to check the veracity of such allegations, and conduct a full-fledged investigation under section 9 of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. “The repeated attacks, even though has been allegedly stopped as also claimed by the Tripura Police, needs thorough investigation and the culprits must be brought to justice”, read our complaint.
Our complaint has also referred to the Tripura Police’s stance that has said that it has provided “protection to mosques in sensitive areas” and has also warned against posting provocative messages on social media, and added “that the situation is under control”. They Took to Twitter on October 27 to state, “During yesterday’s protest rally in Panisagar, North Tripura, no masjid was burnt and the pictures being shared of burning or damaged masjid or collection of sticks etc are all fake and are not from Tripura. They may be from some countries.”
Since there are two sides to the story, we have urged the Hon’ble Commission to take cognisance of these scattered incidents and investigate these alleged attacks and targeted vandalisation.
The incidents of violent and direct attacks to hurt and alienate the minority community of the State, prima facie, reveal various brazen violations of the Indian Penal Code. CJP’s complaint has listed the various IPC provisions pertaining to being a member of an unlawful assembly, provocation to riots, hurting religious sentiments and acts prejudicial to national integrity.
We have brought to the attention of the commission that the rally of almost 3,500 people indulged in anti-Muslim sloganeering organised by Viswa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Jagran Manch, Bajrang Dal, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Lastly, our prayers state, “Conduct a full-fledged inquiry/investigation into the vandalisation and targeting of Muslim shops and home, and publish a comprehensive report on it for widespread distribution in the country” and “Take cognizance of the attack on the Muslim families in the state under section 9 (1) (d) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.”
CJP has also requested the commission to undertake studies into the various problems arising out of such discrimination against minorities and take up such matters with appropriate authorities under section 9 (1) (e ) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
The complaints may be read here: