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Hindu procession in Karauli, attacked by Islamists, was first in 7 years, now, Hindus are being blamed: What it says about the police

The fact that a Hindu procession took place for the first time in seven years indicates how Islamism has mushroomed in Karauli, right under the nose of Rajasthan Police, which in all likelihood, was oblivious to their rise or, even worse, complicit in empowering them.

Earlier this month, on April 2, when Hindus around the world were celebrating their new year, a horrifying communal conflagration erupted in Rajasthan’s Karauli during a motorcycle rally organised by Hindus to mark the Nav Samvatsar passed through Hatwara Bazar locality in the city, an ostensibly a Muslim-dominated region.

The rally, which was the first time since 2015 that Hindus took out a procession in Karauli, was met with violence as it traversed through a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood. Stones were pelted at the rally; shops and vehicles were set on fire as miscreants ran amok indulging in arson, vandalism and destroying the public property.

According to reports, 43 people were injured in the clashes that erupted in the wake of the Hindu procession. The injured also included policemen, who were referred to the district hospital for tending to their injuries.

The Rajasthan Police had initially registered an FIR against 37 people for instigating the violence. While the police had identified Congress Councillor Matloob Ahmed as the main conspirator in the case, it booked BJP leader and Jaipur mayor Somya Gurjar’s husband Rajaram Gurjar for his alleged involvement in violence. The authorities also booked convenor Neeraj Sharma who had applied for permission for the rally, Sahab Singh Gurjar, state president of the Hindu Sena, and Rajaram Gurjar, former Chairman of the Municipal Council, Karauli.

Rajasthan Police blames Hindu rally for the violence that swept Karauli on April 2

However, on April 8, the Rajasthan Police blamed Hindus for the violence that erupted in Karauli, insinuating that ‘objectionable songs’ played in the Hindu rally were the cause for the communal flare-up that broke out in its wake. The police response implied that stone pelting was in response to the objectionable nature of songs that were played during the procession carried out by Hindus.

Mohan Lal Lather, DGP, Rajasthan, said that the way the Nav Samvatsar procession was carried out was dubious and objectionable songs were played, that’s why stone pelting took place. He further added that peace ensued across states and people celebrated festivals with amity except in Karuli’s Hatwada Bazar. “Such incident happened in Karauli as no procession was taken out the area since 2015. The Police had given permission to the organizers after monitoring the situation but no permission was granted for use of DJs,” DGP Lather added.

According to Rajasthan Police, Hindus who carried out the procession were responsible for the violence because devotional songs played by them were intolerable to the other side, which got triggered pelting stones and escalated the violence. Instead of blaming the Islamists for having a low threshold for inter-religious tolerance and clamping down on their unlawful activities, the police proceeded to hold Hindus responsible for the imbroglio simply because they dared to carry out a procession to celebrate their new year.

The age-old Congress tradition of indulging in minority appeasement and demonising the majority

However, blaming the majority community, regardless of culpability, is often the modus operandi of law enforcement agencies working under the aegis of Congress governments, who have made minority appeasement a cornerstone of their national polity. For decades now, the Congress party has weaponised minorities like no other, ceaselessly stoking the victimhood narrative among them and demonising the majority as a community bent on changing the religious character of the country.

Since the Congress government view minorities as voter blocks, they often gloss over transgressions committed by members of the minority community, in a bid to remain in their good graces. Instead, the majority community, i.e Hindus, take the rap and are deviously projected as aggressors and enemies of peace and tranquillity.

In Rajasthan, where the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government is in power, the police seem to be operating on the same principle. Minorities are mollycoddled, their vices and criminal behaviour overlooked and instead, the majority community is held responsible when a communal cauldron erupts and results in violence and rioting. However, the Rajasthan Police’s stance on Karauli violence also betrays the insidious rise of Islamism, which is either unchecked or perhaps enjoys the state’s sanction.

What stance on Karauli violence tells us about the Police

The fact that a Hindu procession took place for the first time in seven years indicates how Islamism has mushroomed in Karauli, right under the nose of Rajasthan Police, which in all likelihood, was oblivious to their rise or, even worse, complicit in empowering them so much so that they could not even tolerate one Hindu procession, that too, carried out after more than half a decade. As years passed by, without Hindus carrying out any procession, the Islamists in Karauli seemed to be all the more emboldened to continue stamping their authority and subjugating the non-Muslims, including stripping them of their right to organise peaceful rallies to celebrate their festivals.

The action of pushing the blame on Hindus also reveals the Rajasthan Police’s pusillanimity in treating the rampant menace of Islamism plaguing the society. Islamists are allowed to do as they wish because opposing them and initiating disciplinary action against them would incur a political cost, which the Congress government does not seem inclined to pay, given that Rajasthan remains one of the few states where the party has managed to cling on to power.

But besides the political compulsions that are forcing the government in Rajasthan to blame Hindus for the violence, the Rajasthan Police’s stance on the matter is tantamount to endorsing a no-go in “Sharia-compliant zones” in the country, places where Islamists expect non-believers and apostates to conform to the supremacy of their religion, not celebrate festivals of any other faiths and in case if they do, they are alone responsible for the violence that follows in its wake.

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Jinit Jain
Jinit Jain
Writer. Learner. Cricket Enthusiast.

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