The Telangana Government has filed two FIRs against a Hyderabad-based journalist, Sridharan Siddhu, for exposing the truth about the Bhainsa violence. He has been booked under Section 153A for promoting enmity between different religious groups, reported the Organiser.
On January 13, a communal clash broke out between Hindus and Muslims in Bhainsa, Telangana. Mobs burnt down 18 houses and several vehicles. Violence broke out when a few aged man (belonging to the Hindu community) in the town reprimanded local Muslim youth for reckless driving. The Telangana government is, however, of the view that the clash broke out due to personal enmity.
Sridharan Siddhu did a ground report on the Bhainsa violence. He talked to several Hindu families, victimised by the communal clash. In a 27-minute-long video that was uploaded on Facebook, the journalist spoke about the terror unleashed by the Muslim mob. The horrifying story of arson, vandalism, stone pelting, and intimidation was narrated by the victims.
He reported, “On January 12, bullets and petrol bombs were thrown where a Muslim mob with cries of ‘Allah ho Akbar’, ‘Pakistan zindabad’, ‘We will keep your female Gods’, etc and attacked Hindu houses with weapons.”
The Hindu families were threatened to vacate their houses within 3 months. The Muslim mob also robbed gold and silver ornaments after they barged into Hindu homes during the violence. In his report, Siddhu highlighted that Muslim women were too complicit in violence. The victims felt sorry for not being able to protect their temples and idols.
Siddhu narrated, “They (the Muslim mob) even stole ornaments from Hindu homes and gold that was prepared for the marriage of one of the victim’s sister was also taken away. This was narrated by an old man who was crying after the losses he suffered in the attack”
The journalist said that the government came to the rescue of the victims when a similar communal clash took place in 2008. He complained that the TRS government has turned a blind eye to the ordeal of the victims in the recent violence.
He reported, “Ironically the police themselves had first confirmed the involvement of Muslims in the attack. Hindus who were injured were taken to the hospital by the police themselves who had come to the area to control the situation. But now, the same police under political pressure have registered false cases against the same Hindus instead of bringing the real perpetrators to book.”
Siddhu also reported that the Hindu community are enraged about the “minority appeasement” undertaken by the KCR-led-government. They feel that such “minority vote bank” politics will turn Telangana into Pakistan.
“Remember that Hindus are also humans who deserve their Human rights”, he sighed. In response to the FIR filed against him by the Telangana Government, Siddhu released another video wherein he reiterated that he was speaking the truth and was being impartial and honest in his duty as a journalist. He also complained that he was being targeted by many, both on the Internet and otherwise, for exposing the coverup.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has squarely blamed the ruling dispensation for backing “Islamic fundamentalists”. The organization has also alleged that TRS and AIMIM were hand-in-gloves to stir communal tension in the state.
Keeping aside political blame-game, it is the responsibility of the KCR-led-government to investigate the Bhainsa violence and bring the perpetrators to justice. However, it is now targeting the messenger instead of taking the message earnestly.