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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Muslim neighbours try to strangulate Hindu woman for watching TV during Ramzan in Assam

In a shocking incident reported from Assam, two Muslim men, Samiruddin Ali & Mobidul Rahman, have attacked their Hindu neighbour, verbally and physically, for watching television during the Islamic month of Ramzan. The incident has been reported from Nazira, a small town in Sivsagar district, about 310 kilometres from the state capital, Dispur. 

The victim is 39-year old Jahnobi Gogoi who was attacked on May 1st when Samiruddin Ali and Mobidul Rahman pounded on her door abusing her with the vilest words. They were angry as Jahnobi Gogoi had turned on her television which they claimed was ‘disturbing’ them as they proceeded to offer Namaz (Islamic prayers) during the month of Ramzan.

The two men also warned the victim of dire consequences if Jahnabi did not abide by the Islamic diktats rolled out by the Muslims of the locality, to be followed during their ‘holy’ month. The situation aggravated when the verbal abuse took the shape of physical violence and one of the accused tried to strangulate her, and scared her with a machete. Other Muslims of the area soon gathered and said they would burn her alive and dispose of her dead body on the railway tracks

Jahnobi is a woman of scanty resources; she runs a small canteen in the town’s office compound and has been struggling to make both ends meet since the imposition of lockdown due to the Chinese virus pandemic. Her husband is a mason with no work at hand now. With an eight-year-old daughter, the couple has been hit by a serious economic crisis. However, the recent relaxations have led to some government offices opening and starting operations. This gave the family a sigh of relief as she was able to open her canteen and make some income. 

On returning from the canteen, as Jahnobi was attending to her domestic chores that day, she decided to switch on the TV to apprise herself of the latest news when she heard her door being banged. She saw Ali and Rahman at the door; Rahman had even brought a machete with him, and in a fit of mad rage pushed her to the ground. That was when Samiruddin Ali grabbed her neck and slapped her multiple times for creating noise during their namaz time. 

This is not the first time this couple has become the target of local Muslims. The threats date to when Jahnobi had married a Muslim man who converted and became a Hindu after marriage. The family of three wanted to erect a temple on their land, but these Muslim neighbours had terrorized the couple against it. 

After the radicals left, Jahnobi reached the local police station to lodge an FIR. Nazira can be considered a Congress bastion in the state with the local MLA being Debabrata Saikia, son of the late Congress leader Hiteswar Saikia, ex-CM of Assam. Understandably, the Muslim vote bank rules the ballot box in this town. Consequently, the police forced Jahnobi to agree for an out-of-court settlement and discouraged her against filing an FIR. On the contrary, an FIR was lodged against her by the assaulters. However, she got some respite when the district secretary of the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal reached her to offer assistance. Finally, an FIR was lodged against the culprits, albeit under diluted provisions of Indian Penal Code section 448, 354(A), 325 and 294. 

A local human rights body has appealed to Assam DGP and National Commission for Women to look into the matter and apply the proper penal codes related to attempt to murder, hate speech, molestation  in the FIR.

Apparently, Samiruddin is of Bangladeshi origin and his name was also excluded in the NRC list. But the Muslims of this locality, whether of Bharatiya or Bangladeshi origin, cast a major influence on the lives and routines of the Hindus of the area, as they are economically well off and well connected to the political who’s who of the Congress leaders in the area. 

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