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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Islamists attack Hindus in Tikiapara, WB; Police refuse to file FIR, arrest saffron-clad Hindus

Hindus of minority-dominated Tikiapara, Howrah in West Bengal are under attack again. Immediately after the Bhumi Pujan of Ram Mandir was held in Ayodhya on August 5th, Muslim radicals attacked poor Hindus living in the area, and the local police have failed to action against the attackers.

While local media has largely ignored the attacks, some locals used their smartphones to capture the plight of the victim and shared them on social media. Locals claim they had gone to the local police station to lodge complaints against the Islamists who have been attacking their neighborhood, but the police refused to register an FIR.

You can watch all the videos here:

In the first video, a young boy and two women narrate how the attackers dragged them out of their house, assaulted them and threatened to bomb their houses. One woman says, “We are scared..we are going to shift, what’s the point of staying if we don’t remain alive.” The second video shows many houses locked as their Hindu occupants have fled due to the intimidation.

Reportedly, the man who had exposed police inaction through his video has been arrested by the local police.  No action has been taken against any of the Muslim attackers. Some social media users have also complained that Kolkata Police while overlooking the atrocities done by Islamists, have apprehended Hindus merely for wearing saffron clothes.

Hindu women in the area have received rape threats in broad daylight. The videos that have emerged online corroborate that parts of the city are experiencing a Kashmir-like situation in which Islamists are openly declaring that they will lynch Hindus and bomb their houses. Owing to the repeated threats and attacks, and the indifference of police, many Hindus have abandoned their homes to escape further atrocities.

Earlier, on August 5th, WB police had manhandled and arrested Ram Bhakts who were peacefully offering prayers to Bhagwan Ram in a temple in Kharagpur. The Hindu devotees were following social distancing norms and were wearing masks as per government advisories. Yet, WB Police lathi-charged them, not sparing even women, and chased people inside their homes.

Here, we would like to remind our readers, that during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, many Muslims had flocked to masjids in violation of lockdown norms, and West Bengal police stood as mute spectators or at best requested the lockdown violators to disperse.

The Hindus of Tikiapara are mostly non-Bengali, Hindi speaking labourers or menial workers who have migrated to Kolkata in search of a livelihood and have been part of the metro city for decades. They have found themselves in great danger throughout the reign of Mamata Banerjee in the state. The Trinamul Congress is known to be a party that promotes a language-based divide and flames xenophobia. A close aide of the TMC, Garga Chatterjee leads the bigoted organization, Bangla Pokkho, that is noted for denigrating people from Bihari and UP working in the state.

However, the Hindu-harassment in Bengal at hands of Islamists cuts across class and regional divides. Disappointed in the current administrative machinery, Bengali Hindus are now waiting for a wave of change in the upcoming 2021 assembly elections.

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