An alarming tide of hatred is rising across India as violent attacks and discrimination against Muslims raise grave concerns about religious tolerance and communal harmony. Instances of discrimination, targeted attacks, and communal tensions have continued to arise and persist.

Dehradun, Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand Police has reportedly initiated legal action following an incident where a Muslim shop manager in Dehradun was harassed by a group of Hindutva supporters. The dispute arose over a poster depicting the Hindu deity Ram installed. Shared widely on social media, the video captured the altercation, where two Muslim men clarified that they were employees, not owners of the shop. The Dehradun police revealed that the shop, Aman General Store, was owned by Rakesh Borai who had rented it to one Girish and who in turn had employed Mohammed Ayub Khan to manage the shop. The shop owner had reportedly instructed against alterations or removal of items of the way he had placed objects. However, on January 9, Radha Dhoni and her supporters forcibly removed the poster and made communal remarks. A case has been filed under the Indian Penal Code for promoting enmity between groups, hurting religious sentiments, and making statements that amount to public mischief.

Bangalore, Karnataka

On January 9 in Mudigere, Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, two Muslim teenagers, Mohammed Munaaz and Sameer were brutally attacked by a group of right-wing people. The shocking video of the incident has circulated widely on social media. The people on ground have suggested that this was a planned and targeted attack. Sameer was targeted while attempting to get his phone back from a shop. He was accompanied by his cousin Munaaz who was also beaten with him. Sameer revealed that he had been assaulted and faced an attempted kidnapping six months prior, but the family had kept it hidden to avoid complications. The attackers this time had initially confronted Sameer, who managed escape. However, the situation became worse when the attackers were joined by friends in a car and they attempted to kidnap both Munaaz and Sameer. However, when they did not succeed in their attempt, the attackers resorted to brutal physical violence and even resorting to using a lever to assault the teens. Despite a sizable crowd, bystanders did not do anything until the police intervened. Upon arrival, the police took the cousins in turn into custody because they were being accused by the attackers of being involved with Hindu girls. Munaaz has strongly denied these baseless claims, according to reports. He also recounted a prior incident where he and a friend were chased and threatened by people who were drunk. Currently hospitalised in Chikmagaluru, Munaaz expressed concern about the attackers being released on bail after their arrest. Highlighting a plausible reason for the repeated attacks, Munaaz says that these incidents were taken due to Sameer’s conversion to Islam. Sameer’s mother had reportedly adopted Islam following her husband’s death.

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