A group of Kanwariyas returning from their pilgrimage were attacked with stones and lathis by a Muslim mob in Rajasthan’s Tonk district. According to reports, the mob attacked the Kanwariyas when they were passing through a Muslim dominated area, leaving 14 Kanwariyas injured.
The incident occurred in the Malpura town in Tonk district. The Muslim mob has even set vehicles on fire. According to reports, a mob carrying sharp weapons fiercely attacked the Kanwariyas such that even some policemen accompanying the Kanwariyas had to flee. Later the police took charge and section 144 has been implemented in the area.
Watch: The attack on kanwariyas in Rajasthan’s Tonk https://t.co/bnSMRa9qPF
— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) August 23, 2018
An additional police force has been deployed in the area to control the situation. It is notable here that this is the second such attack on Kanwariyas in Rajasthan. Earlier this week, in Fatehpur, Rajasthan, a group of Kanwariyas were reportedly attacked by Muslims. Section 144 was imposed there too. Like the Malpura incident, there too the local Muslims had attacked the Kanwariyas after their group passed a mosque and reportedly torched an SUV and damaged a roadways bus.
However, the mainstream media has been repeatedly portraying Kanwar yatris as miscreants in recent times. Based on a few stray incidents, many media houses have been trying to build a narrative that Kanwar yatris are lawless Hindu goons.
A CNN News18 report covered the attack on Kanwariyas but the tweet with the report was shared with a hashtag #KanwariyaMenace. This despite the fact that the video in the tweet clearly stated that Kanwariyas were the victims and were attacked. Another tweet, shared today with the same hashtag, linked a report that had the headline ‘Stones hurled, SUV torched as Kanwariyas clash with locals in Rajasthan’s Tonk, 15 injured’.
#BREAKING — #KanwariyaMenace: Massive clashes in Rajasthan’s Tonk district. Section 144 imposed and mobile internet services have been blocked. Tension gripped Malpura after 14 Kanwariyas were injured when miscreants pelted stones at them. 1 SUV was vandalized in the clashes. pic.twitter.com/pyXg8jqP5S
— News18 (@CNNnews18) August 24, 2018
A report by Firstpost also had a similar headline that stated ‘Kanwariyas clash with locals’, subtly implying that it was the Kanwariyas who had initiated the violence.
Lakhs of Hindus undertake the Kanwar Yatra every year. They carry holy water from rivers to offer them in temples of Lord Shiva but are often painted as a menace to the society.