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Assam: Muslim neighbours abuse, threaten to kill a Hindu woman in Nazira district for watching TV during Ramzan

The victim had approached the Nazira police to lodge an FIR, but the police had allegedly discouraged her from lodging a complaint, instead asked her to agree for an out-of-court settlement.

In a shocking incident, two locals, Samiruddin Ali and Mobidul Rahman attacked a poor Hindu woman in Assam’s Nazira district, for ‘watching TV in her house during the month of Ramzan’. The Muslim neighbours prohibited the woman from watching TV, citing Ramzan. After this, they allegedly gathered in large numbers with sharp weapons and started assaulting the woman. They attempted to murder her by strangulating her.

The incident has been reported from Nazira, a small town in Sivsagar district, about 310 kilometres from the state capital, Dispur. 

Hindu tea stall owner assaulted by Muslim neighbours in Assam’s Nazira district

In what transpired on May 1, Jahnobi Gogoi, a tea shop owner, was watching TV in her house after she returned from work. Suddenly, Samiruddin Ali and Mobidul Rahman began to bang her door. When she opened the door, the duo barged and started abusing her for turning on her television which they claimed was ‘disturbing’ them as they proceeded to offer Namaz during the month of Ramzan.

Defaming her by calling her a “whore” and “prostitute”, the duo also insulted her for being a Hindu. The two men warned the victim of dire consequences if she did not abide by the Islamic diktats rolled out by the local Muslims during the month of Ramzan. The situation became worse when the verbal fight took the shape of an assault with one of the accused trying to strangulate her. Other Muslims of the area soon gathered with sharp weapons and started threatening the victim’s family that they would burn Jahnobi alive and dispose of her dead body on the railway tracks if she did not follow the diktat. 

Bajrang Dal assists the victim’s family

OpIndia got in touch with the district secretary of the Bajrang Dal, Bijoy Das, who along with other activists reached Jahnobi’s house after getting the news fo the incident and offered assistance to the family. He had also helped the victim to lodge an FIR against the perpetrators, for which the police were earlier reluctant. He alleged that the police have attempted to lighten the case by imposing lenient IPC sections on the accused.

It is pertinent to note here that after the radicals left, Jahnobi had approached the police to lodge an FIR, but the police had discouraged her from lodging a complaint, instead asked her to agree for an out-of-court settlement.

Police reluctant

The police claimed that there were discrepancies in the details mentioned in the victim’s application and what she communicated to the police verbally. Here the Bajrang Dal District Secretary Bijoy Das intervened and submitted video footage and other evidence to the police. The police at first advised Das to delete the videos as they said that in case the videos go viral on social media it would lead to the fear of spreading communal tension in the area.

However, after much persuasion, the police did lodge an FIR against the culprits, albeit under diluted provisions of Indian Penal Code section 448, 354(A), 325 and 294.

Copy of the application submitted by Rashtriya Bajrang Dal (L), victim’s wound marks (R)

Local organisations seek justice for the victim

After the news gained traction, a local human rights body appealed to Assam DGP and National Commission for Women to look into the matter and apply the proper IPC sections related to attempt to murder, hate speech, molestation in the FIR.

Letter to the Assam Police

When OpIndia got in touch with the Nazira police, they confirmed that a case has been registered and appropriate action is being taken against the accused.

This is however, not the first time Jahnobi’s family has been targetted. It is being said that Jahnobi’s family has continuously been in the radar of the local Muslims in the area. Actually Jahnobi is a Hindu who married a Muslim. After marriage, the husband voluntarily converted to a Hindu. Since then, they have been facing the ire of the local Muslims.

Local Muslims in Nazira getting support from Congress leaders

For the uninitiated, the Nazira district is a Congress bastion in the state, with its local MLA being Debabrata Saikia, son of the late Congress leader Hiteswar Saikia, ex-CM of Assam. Though this area currently comes under Jorhat Lok Sabha constituency, from where BJP’s Topon Kumar Gogoi is an MP, before him, from 1991 to 2014, Congress Bijoy Krishna Handique was the MP for 23 consecutive years from here. Here, the local Muslims share a deep rapport with the Congress leaders and enjoy their protection.

Local media reports stated that Sameeruddin is originally a Bangladeshi and his name was not mentioned in the NRC. Since then, he has become more agitated and bitter towards the Hindus.

OpIndia tried to contact the local MP for his comments on this incident but could not speak to him.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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