From bloodshed on the streets to people’s homes being set on fire, Delhi is in a terrible state of turmoil right now. Reports have shown that religious tensions in India have escalated to an unprecedented level in recent years and Delhi’s Muslims are suffering as a result.
Most recently events such as the February Delhi riots saw a mob attack against the “200 million Muslims” living in India according to the President of Pakistan, Imran Khan.
India’s vast Muslim population were specifically targeted for believing and practising their religion. The heinous crimes against them include the destruction of their homes, vandalism of their sacred places and looting of their property.
Two Mosques in Ashok Nagar (Badi Mosque and Chaand Mosque) along with 8 neighbouring houses, were set aflame during the Delhi riots. They also destroyed people’s shops during the attacks including a halal meat butchers. They were said to be specifically looking for shops and homes belonging to Muslims to attack and steal from.
Not only did sacred religious buildings and people livelihoods get destroyed but, 49 people lost their lives to the riots, 35 of which were Muslim. Victims of the attack were brutally tortured before being killed.
The rioters were reported to be wearing masks and carrying weapons and stones, ready to attack people and buildings with them. Witnesses have also said that the rioters attacked children who were trying to video the mob.
Some have accused police officers to have been standing idly by while the rioters pushed on through the neighbourhood causing destruction.
Islamophobia in India is rife, with many keen to rid the country of Muslims all together. This hatred towards Muslims has particularly arisen after the recent election took place in India. Many hold Kapil Mishra, a local politician, partly responsible for the communal riots.
Kapil has been known for spreading supremacist views and ideology, recently attempting to create a law which limits the citizenship of the country to discriminate against Muslim citizens.
Many Hindu and Muslim demonstrators took the the streets in retaliation to protest Kapil’s attempted law ban against Indian citizens.
Kapil however challenged police authorities to clear the streets or threatened his own followers would attack them themselves. This led to one of the worst cases of police brutality, as well as religiously charged violence in India between Hindus and Muslims, in years.
Although both Hindus and Muslims have suffered losses from the recent events, Muslims were undoubtedly hit much harder, as they were the main target for the religious persecution.Sources: