Meer Faisal and Sana Akbar

Muslim leaders have alleged that in the recent outbreak of violence in Shastri Nagar, Jamshedpur, the Jharkhand police targeted Muslims. According to them, the police allegedly raided a mosque, caused damage to the structure, and desecrated the holy Qur’an.

On Sunday night, a violence unleashed by Hindu right wing groups in Jamshedpur following a dispute that began during the lowering of the Mahaviri flag at the Jatadhari Hanuman temple in Shastri Nagar Block No. 3 on Saturday. Tension had been mounting in the area since some people had allegedly wrapped a piece of flesh in a polythene bag around the bamboo of the Hindu religious flag. After this incident, a group of Hindus protested and demanded that the police arrest the suspect within 24 hours. The administration managed to control the situation, and it seemed that the issue had been resolved.

However, on Sunday night, members of the Hindutva Organization allegedly started throwing stones at the mosque and houses belonging to the Muslim community, causing the situation to escalate. By nightfall, several shops had been set on fire, and both sides were hurling bricks and stones at each other. An auto rickshaw was also set ablaze.

Kashif Siddique, a social activist said to Maktoob that on Saturday, a group of Hindus protested after finding chicken flesh fragments on the bamboo of the flag. The police managed to calm things down. However, on Sunday morning, they resumed their violent protests, with people from groups like Bajrang Dal and Hindu Mahasabha shouting “Jai Shri Ram” and making derogatory remarks towards the Muslim community. They also demanded that the road no. 3 chowk in Shastri Nagar be renamed “Bajrang chowk,” which was resisted by the police and Muslim residents. These individuals planned to gather later that evening at Hanumaan Mandir after facing opposition.

The Hanuman Mandir and the Farooqui mosque are situated close to each other. Police were aware of the gathering, but despite this, they did not mobilize their resources sufficiently to prevent any potential violence. The gathering began to create a disturbance by yelling and insulting the Muslim community, and suddenly stone-pelting began at the mosque and Muslim residences. While this was happening, some assailants started selectively burning shops owned by Muslims.

SSP Prabhat Kumar arrived quickly on the scene with a group of RAF (Rapid Action Force) and used force to disperse the gathering. Lathi charges and tear gas were used to contain the violence, and warning shots were fired into the air. The violence was contained as the crowd dispersed…

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