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Women harassed, children forced to learn Urdu and Namaz: Why isn’t the media interested in covering the plight of Hindus in Haldwani?

A Hindu woman described how she was approached by a group of Muslim protestors and instructed to join them in reading 'dua'.

The recent issue of the removal of illegal encroachment from Indian Railways land in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, prompted the leftist media to carefully craft a ‘Muslims under attack’ narrative. Since the majority of the illegal encroachers belonged to the Muslim community, appeals are made in name of ‘humanity’ and requests for facilities were made so that eventually the illegal structures can be regularised and government land could be usurped illegally. 

The Supreme Court had on January 4, 2023, put a stay on the matter of the removal of encroachment from Indian Railways land in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, saying that a workable arrangement has to be devised. 

The next hearing in this case in the Supreme Court is scheduled for February 7, 2023, before which the leftist media are continuing to purposefully build a narrative implying that “Muslims are being attacked by Hindu nationalist parties.”

An OpIndia team has been conducting a ground investigation into the controversy over the eviction of illegal encroachers on railway land in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, following the tremendous buzz on social media and subsequent national media attention. The crew arrived in Haldwani on January 3, 2023, and has since been working to uncover the truth behind the protest and debunk the ‘Muslims in India under attack’ narrative that is being propagated.

Today, the OpIndia crew spoke with a few Hindus who chose to remain in Haldwani’s Banbhoolpura area and inquired about their situation. The truth which has emerged is quite different from what the liberal media has been trying to push for the past few days. Here are some highlights from our conversations with the distraught Hindus residing there.

Unlike other media organisations, we chose to enter the villages’ narrow alleyways. We headed to the Indira Nagar Basti, where a handful of Hindu families still dwell. At first, these people were not ready to speak to us. We assumed they were upset about the High Court’s order to remove the encroachment, but the truth was quite different. The Hindus there were actually worried for their and their family’s safety.

We anticipated that this anxiety will be limited to a few people, but as we spoke with elders, teenagers, children, women, and men one by one, a terrifying image emerged in front of us. The terror was palpable in almost every Hindu living there.

‘Drunkards and drug addicts kick our doors’: elderly man narrates the plight of Hindus in Haldwani

Our team first spoke to a 72-year-old elderly man who reluctantly shared the plight of the handful of Hindus remaining in the Banbhoolpura area in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani city. He alleged that people of the Muslim community, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, come to their houses and start kicking their doors at random odd hours. When the Hindus oppose, they hush the matter by pinning the blame on others.

The elderly man added that the situation for Hindus in the Banbhoolpura area has worsened over the course of the last ten years since the Muslim population here rose significantly. Other residents sitting close to the elderly man told us how their water pumps were deliberately uprooted and stolen a few days ago, and the criminals have yet to be apprehended.

Another Hindu, speaking about the rapid demographic shift in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani area, stated that they were clueless about how the Muslim population expanded so quickly and from where and why these people were coming.

Joginder Singh Jogi, the district convenor of the ‘Bajrang Dal,’ also informed about the sale of drugs such as hash and cannabis in the Banbhoolpura area in Haldwani, Uttrakhand.

‘Govt should take us out of here’: Hindus in Banbhoolpura, Haldwani

A Hindu resident of Banbhoolpura lamented how he and his family want the Government of India to relocate them since the conditions are no longer tenable for Hindus to live there. Another Hindu residing there told us how Hindu-Muslim clashes are common there and how it has occurred several times in the past. He said that in such instances, a large mob gathers in the vicinity to protest, which he said becomes a threat to the handful of Hindus residing there.

Another person lamented that if he had the resources or another place to live, he would have left the area a long time ago.

Our house was swarmed due to a social media post

A Hindu mother also described the distress the Hindus in that area are under. She recalled how once, a mob had surrounded her house in response to a social media post shared by her son. According to the woman, if the cops had not been present at the time, something terrible would have occurred to her family.

Once a Hindu-dominated area, now virtually Hindu-free

Speaking about how the demography of the area has altered in the last few years, an elderly man told us that in the 1960s, Indira Nagar in Banbhoolpura was a Hindu-dominated area. He recalled how during those days, a massive fire had broken in the area, compelling many Hindu families to relocate. After that, the process continued. Many Hindu families progressively migrated from Indira Nagar to another location, and gradually Banphoolpura turned into a Muslim-dominated locality.

According to our sources, the migration of Hindus from that area is still ongoing.

Rampant incidents of ‘love jihad’ and conversion reported in Banbhoolpura in Haldwani, Uttarakhand

According to a Hindu resident of Indira Nagar, incidents of love jihad remain common in the Banbhoolpura locality. As an example, we were told how not so long ago, a Hindu girl was abducted and taken to Hyderabad one night. When she came back later, she was pregnant. We were told how the girl’s relatives had given up hope of her return.

Meanwhile, another individual also lamented how his Hindu brother was forcefully converted to Islam. He held his brother’s accomplices accountable for this and rued how he had severed all contact with his converted brother. Joginder Singh Jogi, district convenor of the Bajrang Dal, also confirmed how the menace of ‘love jihad’ had been rampant in Banbhoolpura in Uttrakhand’s Haldwani district.

The Hindus of Indira Nagar told us that they couldn’t even play Holi properly under past governments. They claimed there was a big police presence prior to Holika Dahan every year. They were, however, pleased that, under the current BJP rule, they are heard by the police and that prompt action is taken if any adverse incident occurs in the area.

House constructed by demolishing a Shiva temple

An elderly man in his sixties told us that a man named Satyanarayan Tiwari, who once lived in the Banbhoolpura area, had constructed a small Shiva Mandir near his house. After a few days, when Satyanarayan Tiwari went away, some Muslims in the area not only forcefully acquired his house but also the Shiv Mandir he had constructed near it. The Muslims demolished the Mandir and built the house, where they are now living, the man recalled.

Displeased because we did not join the protest

We had earlier reported how thousands of Muslim residents in Haldwani staged a protest on December 28 against the clearance of illegal encroachments on railway land in accordance with a High Court ruling. Speaking about these protests, the Hindus residing in Banbhoolpura said that their Muslim neighbours had urged them to join the protest but they refused. They added that their refusal had irked the Muslim leaders in the neighbourhood who reprimanded them for not participating in the protests.

A Hindu woman described how she was approached by a group of Muslim protestors and instructed to join them in reading ‘dua’. The lady stated that she refused to give in to their requests and instead instructed them to pray to Bhagwan. This enraged the protestors, who then went away, she said.

Hindu children compelled to learn Urdu and recite Namaz in school

We were told by two minor Hindu children from Banbhoolpura that they were taught Urdu in school. When we requested him to recite the school prayer, he recited some Islamic prayers to us. When asked, the children said that they studied in SN Public School.

Meanwhile, the children’s parents told us that when they discovered that their children were being taught Urdu and made to recite Namaz in school, they took them out of this school and got them admitted to some other school.

Some Hindu women residing in the locality revealed how they are subjected to harassment whenever they walk down the street. “Youths from the Muslim community make derogatory and indecent remarks at us, and when we object, they throw meat at our homes.” the women rued.

The Bajrang Dal district convenor also told OpIndia that the women of Banbhoolpura’s remnant Hindus face continual threats.

Please note that we have deliberately withheld the name of the Hindu resident of Banbhoolpura who spoke to us. During the course of the conversation, they urged us to not disclose their names fearing retaliation.

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राहुल पाण्डेय
राहुल पाण्डेयhttp://www.opindia.com
धर्म और राष्ट्र की रक्षा को जीवन की प्राथमिकता मानते हुए पत्रकारिता के पथ पर अग्रसर एक प्रशिक्षु। सैनिक व किसान परिवार से संबंधित।

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