Hindu home and shops were attacked by a 100-strong Muslim mob on March 18 in Rajaura village, Begusarai district, Bihar. At least 5 people were injured, 2 of them critically, in this attack and at least 5 shops were vandalised and looted as per sources.
HinduPost spoke to Shri Ujjwal Pandey, a resident of the village and a law student, to understand what triggered this shocking violence on the day of Holi.
The village of Rajaura has over one-third Muslim population, far higher than the 14% that Muslims constitute in the entire Begusarai district as per Census 2011. Muslims voted as a block in the recent Panchayat elections and also reportedly bribed a section of Hindus, to emerge as winners and one Mukhtar Ansari was appointed as sarpanch (village head).
On March 12, a Muslim boy (related to the sarpanch Ansari) was drinking water from a school tap by directly applying his mouth to it, to which a Hindu boy objected for hygiene reasons, especially keeping the pandemic in mind. This led to an argument between the two. As per one report, the incident happened at a Saraswati Shishu Mandir school, a chain of schools run by Vidya Bharti, the RSS’ education wing.
The next day, Ansari went to the Hindu boy’s home and complained to his father, Shashi Bhushan Rai, that he had fought with the Muslim boy ‘due to his religion’. On 17th, Ansari returned to Rai’s house with some men and this time got into a heated argument. A minor brawl ensued between both sides.
On the evening of March 18, the day of Holi, around 5 PM, a well-armed mob of around 100 men from the Muslim side of the village descended on Rai’s home & shop and started pelting stones/bricks and hitting anyone they could lay their hands on. They attacked other Hindu shops and assaulted those shopkeepers as well. Some Hindus sitting near a temple were also attacked.
Shashi Bhushan Rai’s nephew is one of those who were critically wounded in this mob attack, and he has reportedly been admitted to ICU today.
Some unconfirmed reports claim that around 20 people were injured in this attack, and the attackers were also armed with swords and rifles. The next day, irate Hindus allegedly beat up a Muslim tailor in retaliation.
It is alleged that police is trying to smoothen out the situation through its usual monkey-balancing ‘secular’ act by arresting 2-3 people from each side, and pressurizing the Rai family to compromise even though they were the victims of a brutal mob attack. No action has been taken against the sarpanch Ansari even though he was clearly identified leading the mob.
Begusarai MP and Union Minister Giriraj Singh visited Sadar hospital to meet residents of Rajaura on Sunday. He said innocents were being victimised by the administration for the attack by members of the Muslim community. Singh said at a press conference, “I have just seen the Kashmir Files and I could not sleep. In Pakistan, Hindus are forced to convert their religion, in Bangladesh, Hindu temples are being attacked and in Begusarai, Hindus are being attacked with arms.”
“I appeal to the DM of Begusarai and CM of Bihar to give justice to the victims and ensure the arrest of the main accused,” Singh added.
“Ab kahan jayega Hindu (Where will Hindus go), when they are attacked by members of a particular community? With folded hands, I request the DM and CM to ensure their safety, administration is trying to cover the entire incident”, Singh alleged. He added that the administration is trying to force compromise by the Hindu family that was attacked. He said earlier at Baro village too, Hindus were attacked by the ‘particular community’. Politics of vote bank is disrupting social harmony, Singh said.