Uttar Pradesh charged with communal tension around Ram Temple inauguration Reports of several communally charged incidents have arisen in the state

29, Jan 2024 | CJP Team

Around January 22nd 2024 India witnessed a surge in communal incidents or crimes related to the outrage of religious sentiments. Sabrang India’s tally mapped over 5 states, along with Delhi, in India that witnessed violence around the time of inauguration of the Ram Temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya. A report by The Wire details that 10 such incidents were reported in Uttar Pradesh alone. Hateful songs, slogans, bike rallies with insensitive and hateful slogans, were some of the means through these incidents presented themselves.  

In Uttar Pradesh’s Agra, a shobha yatra organised by right-wing activists saw about 1000 to 1500 people armed with lathis and sticks that forced their way into a Mughal-era mosque on January 22 and hoisted a saffron flag on the historic mosque, according to the Indian Express. The people reportedly raised religious slogans and also issued threats to those present within the mosque. An FIR has been registered invoking Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 452 (trespass after preparation for hurt or assault), and 505 (2) (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code, according to The Hindu. According to Scroll, the mosque, which dates back to 1677, is a monument that comes under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India.

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Similarly, on January 22, 2024, the town of Menhdawal in Uttar Pradesh’s Sant Kabir Nagar district witnessed a mob take out a Shobha Yatra and reportedly tried to force its way into a mosque. The Free Press Journal has reported that the police have arrested five people so far on charges of ‘breach of peace’ and of ‘creating nuisance’ outside a place of worship during a religious procession.  

Meanwhile, an almost identical incident unfolded in Shahjahanpur district of the state. Three people, Rohit Joshi, Ankit Katheria, and Rohit Saxena were arrested on January 22nd for allegedly replacing a flag on a mosque with a saffron one, according to the Deccan Herald. At the same district, in Tilhar, another incident occurred where five people have been officially charged by the police, along with 12 unidentified persons, on allegations of vandalising a flag that displayed the name of the deity Ram.

Similarly, in Kushinagar, ten Muslim men, along with several unidentified people, are facing charges for reportedly hurling stones and bricks at a dwaj yatra (shobha yatra). Reports suggest that this incident took place after an altercation Muslims reportedly objected to Jai Sri Ram slogans. According to The Wire, the Superintendent of Police Kushinagar Dhawal Jaiswal, has stated that it was an issue that took place due to people arguing over the bursting of firecrackers.

Similar 3 such incidents were reported from Kanpur, as religious tensions continued to remain flared with two more from Shahjahanpur, and one from Azamgarh, marking an intensely charged set of days for the state. 


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