In yet another hate-motivated attack against Muslims, a bus carrying several Hajj pilgrims was attacked by a violent Hindutva mob in Kota, Rajasthan on 26 May 2023. The bus carrying hajj pilgrims was en route to Jaipur Airport was stopped and made hostage on the Kota-Bundi Road near Menal Hotel.
According to the victims, the Hindu mob pelted stones on the bus leaving them injured including the bus driver, children and women onboard.
The victims’ claims were substantiated by a video of the incident that surfaced on social media, depicting the horrifying assault.
The bus carrying about 40 pilgrims and their relatives left Kota on the night of 24th May as their flight to Saudi Arabia was scheduled early the next morning.
“Unidentified individuals began following the bus on the Kota-Bundi road and at one point, they overtook it,” Mufti Shamim Ashraf Razvi, President of the Hajj Welfare Society of Kota Cadre, recounted the harrowing ordeal.
“As the bus came to a stop, they stormed inside and launched an attack on the passengers, specifically targeting and abusing women and children.”
Passengers reported being coerced into chanting “Jai Shree Ram” slogans and faced death threats. Some sustained severe injuries and were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital. The Hindutva assailants, who continuously raised slogans, even attempted to set the bus on fire.
Abdul Kalam, one of the passengers who confronted the attackers, was viciously struck on the head with an iron rod, resulting in six stitches.
Recounting the horrifying moments, Kalam told Maktoob, “As I approached the goons to inquire about the matter, they pushed me aside and stormed into the bus.”
He said, “They immediately confirmed that the passengers were Muslims and began assaulting the women and girls. When the women resisted, the assailants subjected them to further abuse and harassment. When other men came to their rescue, we were attacked with batons, iron rods, hose pipes, and various other weapons.”