Politicians from the so-called secular establishment have been making a concerted attempt to create a ‘Dalit-Muslim unity’ narrative. The mainstream media, its propaganda wing, has been aiding their efforts by furthering a favourable narrative. However, as the results of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections have amply demonstrated, such efforts are destined to fail.
In this article, we document the ‘community crimes‘ committed by Muslims against Dalits in recent years that make the much fantasized ‘Dalit-Muslim vote-bank’ nonviable.
In Peepalsana, Moradabad, which is a Muslim-dominated locality, the Muslim barbers refuse to give haircuts to Dalits. “If Dalits take haircut and shave in these shops, the towels will become dirty. How will other Muslims take haircuts after that?” questioned Naushad, a barber.
Few days after reports on discrimination against Dalits by Muslim barbers came up, the Muslim barbers were compelled by state authority to attend to the Dalits. However, now the reports have emerged that the Muslim villagers no longer go to those Muslim babers who gave haircut to the Dalits in the village.
The incident took place in in June 2019 when a Dalit man was reportedly beaten up for opposing molestation of his sister. A case was registered under IPC sections, 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) and the SC/ST Act. Two arrests have also been made so far.
In June 2019, a Muslim mob in Nurpur, Begusarai, Bihar allegedly attacked a family and sexually assaulted two women belonging to Mahadalit community. The mob even tried to kill one of the members of the family.
Rukhsar’s twenty-two year old husband Sanjay Kumar’s decaying body was found on August 21, 2018, in the national capital. The accused in the matter is one Saleem, the wife’s mother told a neighbour.
As per reports, Rukhsar’s family’s only concern was that Sanjay did not agree to convert. One of the neighbours, Sunita, had claimed that Rukhsar’s mother had expressed relief at separating the two because now she had ‘saved her daughter from being cremated’.
Here are details from Kumar’s post-mortem report, as mentioned by Swarajya: His rectum was missing, suggesting that an object was inserted into his anus and forcibly pulled out. His penis was not found intact, suggesting it was chopped off. His lungs were missing, suggesting his body was cut open. Eyeballs were missing and eye sockets were lying empty, suggesting that they were gouged out. Many of his teeth were missing. The skin on both the hands and on his right foot was de-gloved, suggesting he was tied up and dragged. The skin was peeled off at some places, including a patch where a tattoo of ‘Om’ was present.
In January 2018, a Dalit girl accused a Muslim youth of forcibly trying to convert and marry her. When she resisted the same, the youth and a few of his associates kidnapped and gang-raped her for a week. As per the girl, the accused even recorded a lewd video of her.
Last month, a group of local Muslims attacked a Dalit wedding procession in the Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh. The attack took place at 9 PM while the procession was passing in front of a mosque in Pipalarwa village. One person was killed and several were injured. The local Muslims objected to the loud music of the wedding procession and had attacked the wedding party as they refused to comply.
In April 2019, a Mulsim mob attacked a group of Dalits in a village under the Gauribazar station area in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh, because they had opposed a Muslim man Rehmat Ali attempting to molest a girl from their community.
On the night of 18 April, Rehmat Ali had apparently broken into the house of a Dalit girl in the Karjahan village and attempted to molest her. When the girl fought him off and screamed for help, he reportedly ran off.
The following night, Rehmat Ali entered the girl’s house again to molest her. This time the girl’s family confronted him but he managed to run away again. After a while, he reportedly returned with a mob of over a dozen men armed with sticks and sharp weapons. The mob allegedly beat up the girls family and relatives, including women and children.
The Ambedkar statue in the Dalit locality was also allegedly damaged by the mob. The mob allegedly kept beating up the people for nearly an hour, only when the rest of the villagers gathered up to face them and stop, the mob reportedly withdrew.
Communal tension erupted in Teela Nandram of Mantola area in Agra in February 2019. A Dalit boy named Pramod, son of Jaini Prasad had gone to bring a bucket of water from a nearby RO plant. While he was returning, two Muslim boys identified as Shahrukh and Salman allegedly made Pramod trip and fall down which led to a confrontation between them.
When Pramod reached with his family members to confront Salman and Shahrukh, men named Yusuf, Akram and others had already gathered more than a hundred of their supporters. The violent mob then proceeded to attack the houses of the Dalit community in the area. Akram, Yusuf, and their supporters had apparently fired bullets and threw glass bottles at houses of the Dalits.
The incident initially began as a personal fight in Pilibhit district in July 2017 when Kamil Raza and his friends had gone to buy some eggs from the shop of a certain Naseem, where they picked up a fight with another person named Sunil.
The personal fight, apparently over the rate of eggs, became serious after Kamil and his friends reportedly threw casteist slurs and abuses at Sunil and his friends, who belonged to the Paswan caste from the Dalit community.
The matter soon escalated when the respective individuals went home and returned with their supporters from the respective communities. Apart from injuries, the clashes led to damages to the shops and houses of people from both communities. Police forces had to be called in and deployed in the area to stop the clashes from getting worse and bloody, as the mob swelled in numbers.
In May 2018, Mijaz, Thappu, Izhar, Nashir, Arshad, Altaf Hussain and Mohammad Firoz were arrested for allegedly teasing and harassing some Dalit women participating in a wedding procession.
When the women objected, the harassers attacked them. They further attacked those too who came to the rescue of the women. As per media reports, the goons assaulted them after entering their homes as well.
Numerous people were arrested and cases had been registered against 70 individuals in connection with abuse and assault on Dalits during the marriage procession of a Dalit couple.
Khetaram Bheel, a 22-year old Dalit man was beaten to death by a group of Muslim men over an affair with a Muslim woman. The police said that the accused individuals tied up the victim’s hands and legs, and then started beating him.
Bheel failed in his attempt to run away while bleeding and fell dead in that very attempt. His body was found 500 metres away from the spot where he was allegedly beaten up, perhaps transported there by his killers. It was a known fact in the village, that Bheel worked at the house of the Muslim girl and had a love affair with her.
In May 2018, communal clashes erupted at Bomminaickanpatti village in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district, after objections were raised against the passage of a Dalit funeral procession through a Muslim street.
The said funeral procession was being taken through that street owing to the regular route being used up by another funeral procession. This led to some of its residents lodging a protest, which resulted in a clash.
In Durveshpur village of Sardhana, Uttar Pradesh, a minor conflict between some people belonging to the Dalit and the Muslim communities escalated into communal violence. People from both the communities came face to face and heavy stone pelting and firing took place. The incident happened in February this year. Several people from both sides were injured due to stone pelting and the exchange of fire.
The incident occurred in the Gordah village under Azamnagar police station in Katihar district in Bihar on the night of 10th June, 2018. The Dalit person named Bajjan Das reportedly ran a tea stall on a piece of government-owned plot. The family lived in a thatched house nearby. Some of their neighbours were pressurizing them to vacate the area so they could use it themselves. The Dalit couple had been refusing to move from the area.
One night, some of the neighbours locked the house from outside, poured petrol over the thatched house and set it on fire while the Dalit family slept inside. The couple’s two young children died in the fire while Bajjan and his wife were critical and struggling for their lives in a Katihar hospital. 2 of the neighbours, Abdul Rehman and his wife were arrested by the local police for the crime. Other accused were absconding.
An incidence of violence transpired hours before Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district went into polls earlier this year. A group of Muslim men reportedly shot at three Dalit men over an argument between the two groups. One Bulaki Singh succumbed to his injuries while the other two were said to be critical. The Police feared communal clashes as a consequence of it.
Superintendent of Police, SP Tyagi had said that the CCTV footage recovered from the spot where the incident transpired, revealed the identity of three accused, namely Rihan, Asif and Rafiq. The three were arrested and during interrogation admitted being a part of the crime.
17. Communal tension in Meerut after shop owner beats up Dalit boy for demanding pending payment for cleaning his shop
The incident took place in the Bhagat Singh market area near Hapur Adda in Meerut in January this year. The victim Dalit boy Ankush worked as a sweeper in a complex situated in the market. One of the attackers identified as Shahrukh, son of Yunus, owned a tea shop on the first floor of the complex where the victim works as a sweeper. Ankush used to clean the shop of Shahrukh as well.
According to Ankush, while other shopkeepers in the market pay him regularly, Shahrukh always delays payment. Shahrukh had not paid him money for several months when he went to Shahrukh’s shop to demand payment. Shahrukh refused to do so. This started a heated argument between the two, and Ankush was assaulted by Shahrukh and few other people present in the shop. After that Ankush called some of his friends and clash erupted between the two groups, and the shop got damaged in the process. The fight stopped when police arrived after some time.
Last month, a Muslim mob entered a temple in Ghasauli village, Meerut, and beat up a group of Dalit men who had put up loudspeakers in the temple for playing devotional songs. The Muslim community had objected to the loudspeaker on temple premises, which is near a mosque after the men from Dalit community put them up.
Later, the mob attacked the temple and beat up the Dalit men with lathis and sticks. They also reportedly attacked them with a sharp object and even started pelting stones. Over half a dozen people inside the temple were injured and the communal tensions escalated.
Police officials from nearby thana arrived on spot and controlled the situation before matters could escalate. The injured were moved to a hospital and six people, Akram, his brothers Karim and Saddam, Zulfikar s/o Sayeed, Abdul Rahim Pudhh Nawabuddin and Arif s/o Riyazuddin were arrested.
Tension gripped a locality in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha region after in February last year when a section of locals attempted to rename the locality as Islam Nagar from its pre-Independence name of Gautam Nagar.
Amroha is considered a Muslim dominated region with the area comprising of 42% Muslims, and the total population being about 12 lakh. Out of the rest, about 21% are Dalits. The “Gautam Nagar” locality is mainly inhabited by blue-collar workers, with people making ends meet by doing odd jobs.
It was alleged that some 20-25 shops in the region out of a total 50 had renamed their address to Islam Nagar Naugawaan Sadat. Besides this, some shops had even painted over the existing address of “Gautam Nagar” thereby signifying an intention to change the name of the area. Plus it was also alleged that about 1,500 Dalits in the locality are living under the fear of forced religious conversions.
A Dalit youth was beaten to death in the Gadhi Khandari locality (which demographically contains a mixed religious population) of Hathras, UP in January, 2018. The body of the youth named Amit Kumar Gautam (27), was recovered from near a Mosque the next day, following which tension spread in the region.
Soon after the incident, the family members of Amit filed a case against five Muslim youths namely Alam, Saddam, Khalid, Sukel and Ashu. Out of these, Alam is a known history-sheeter. The Police arrested two of the accused in the matter, Alam and Saddam.
As per the family members, Amit had left home that afternoon saying that he was going out to correct a certificate. After he failed to return home by late evening, they decided to go and search for him, but returned empty handed. At about 7 a.m., they were informed about his battered body being recovered from the mosque square area.
A Dalit family living in the Mohlaka village of the Nagina Khand region in Mewat Haryana, had alleged in January, 2018 that it was brutally attacked by the village goons for refusing to convert to Islam. As per reports, casteist slurs were also hurled at the family.
Based on complaint by the family, a case was registered against five accused in the Nagina police station. This village in question is populated by about 3000 people. Out of these seven families belong to the Dalits and the rest are Muslims.
The complainant named Kishan had claimed that a villager named Islam was pressurizing them to convert their religion. Thus, one morning, Islam, Taufeeq, Mosim, Ataru and Asmina attacked the Dalit family using sticks and iron rods. Kishan as a result of this attack suffered grave injuries.
Shahnawaj, a native of the town, had called the victim to his place on the pretext of giving her some clothes. As soon as the victim reached his place, he took her inside a room and allegedly raped her. The crime happened last month.
The girl began to cry after he tried to rape her and later pushed her outside his room. Later, the girl returned home and informed family members about the incident, who caught the accused and took him to the police station.
The police have lodged an FIR under section 376 (rape), 511 (punishable offence) of IPC, 325 SC/ST Act and section 7/8 POCSO and sent the girl for medical examination after taking the accused into the custody, said inspector Sharad Tripathi.
A 17-year-old minor Dalit girl was gang-raped by five men in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district. The accused had even filmed a video and threatened to make it public if the girl reported the matter to anyone. The five accused, Danish, Farid, Umama, Maj and Sabur were arrested by the police.
The incident took place on February 21 this year in a village in Ratenpuri, Muzaffarnagar. The girl had gone to the forest at around 7 pm. There, the girl was allegedly gang-raped on gunpoint by the five accused and even filmed it. After the rape, they threatened the girl with dire consequences and death before escaping. The accused then reportedly shared the video clip which then went viral on social media.
On Sunday, March 17, after the video recording had gone viral, the girl and her family reached the police station to file a complaint. Her brother filed a complaint against the five accused, of which three, Umama, Farid and Sabur were arrested on Sunday night. The remaining two accused were also later arrested.
24. Muslim men attempt to rape Dalit women and a minor, attack them with axes and firearms, Uttar Pradesh
In February last year, men from the Muslim community barged into the house of a Dalit family in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh and attempted to rape two women and a minor. Failing in their attempt, they assaulted the women with axes and attacked them with firearms before fleeing the scene. The women had to undergo treatment at a hospital and their situation was deemed to be critical. The names of the accused were Sham Shakil, Shahid and Muhammad Ali.
A Dalit woman was going to buy medicines one evening in June, 2017 when a group of men from the Muslim community waylaid her. They were smoking and drinking and started misbehaving with the woman. When she opposed this behaviour, they snatched her dupatta and started abusing her. The woman had to run back to her home to save herself.
Around 3-4 men had tried to intervene to save the woman from this harassment, but they were also beaten up and chased away by a mob supportive of these miscreants. This apparently turned the entire incident communal as these 3-4 men were chased away by a mob of almost 100 men who belonged to the same locality as of the miscreants who were harassing the Dalit woman.
Apart from attacking the men who tried to intervene, this mob, made of Muslim men as per the complaint, also attacked the house of the Dalit woman whom they were sexually harassing. At least 5 women were injured thereafter, who were taken to the hospital by the police. The situation could have led to larger communal clash but police is reported to have acted on time assuring punitive action.
Certain patterns emerge from the crimes listed here. In one of the most shocking incidents, where two Dalit children were burnt alive by Muslim locals while their parents suffered critical injuries, a woman was an active participant in the crime and she was arrested by the Police along with her husband. As we have observed in an earlier article, Muslim women are involved in hate crimes against Hindus with an alarming frequency.
Another disturbing trend is the involvement of significant sections of the community in the crimes and even widespread support to rogue elements. For instance, Muslims from the same locality as the sexual predators came out in support of them when some good people were trying to prevent them from sexually harassing a woman. Not only that, the mob then went on to attack the house of the woman herself.
Thus, as has been mentioned in earlier articles, merely education will not be enough to inspire a reformation of the Muslim community. If major sections of the community continue to receive doles and financial despite tacit and active support to such hooliganism, they are likely to believe that indulging in such crimes is what is getting them these benefits. Moreover, if there are no consequences for such behaviour, where is the incentive for reforms?
As has been said before, there is a reason why carrot-and-stick is very popular strategy while carrot-and-carrot isn’t. One helps achieve the desired objective, the other provides incentives to maintain the status quo.
Editor’s Note: The above report is updated with new incidents which have come to light in past four days.
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.