On Friday, August 13, 2021, a local vegetable seller, Suresh Khade, accompanied his two minor nieces to buy juices from a juice shop in the Bombay Bazar area. A group of men approached the girls and started to tease and harass the underage sisters. Writes Ashlyn Davis
A shocking video from India showing a violent mob of skull-cap wearing men attacking a police vehicle has recently gone viral. As per reports published by local media, the disturbing images were from the Bombay Bazar area of Indore in Madhya Pradesh, India. The video was filmed last week, when mayhem broke out in the region after police tried to rescue two minor girls who were being harassed and teased by a group of Muslim men.
On Friday, August 13, 2021, a local vegetable seller, Suresh Khade, accompanied his two minor nieces to buy juices from a juice shop in the Bombay Bazar area. A group of men approached the girls and started to tease and harass the underage sisters. The men forced them to show their IDs and produce their Aadhar cards (the Indian government’s identity cards). It has been reported that these men were from the Muslim community, while the girls hailed from a family within the marginalized and weaker section of Hindu society, the Valmiki community. Further, Bombay Bazar is a known Muslim-dominated area in Indore, Madhya Pradesh that had witnessed serious turmoil and protests in 2019 after the new Citizenship Amendment Act came into effect. It was hence easier for these men to target these girls with absolute impunity.
Suresh Khade tried to defend his nieces as much as he could, but soon called home for help. When the family members of the girls reached the spot, the group of harassers threw glass bottles at them. The victims sustained grave injuries and are now receiving treatment. According to a statement given by a local politician from the BJP party, the hoodlums had also locked up the girls in a shop.
The local police station was gradually made aware of the tension, and officials rushed to the scene of the scuffle. However, images from the site show that the police vehicles were hounded by an unruly mob of hundred-strong skull-cap sporting men. They launched a synchronized attack on the police while chanting Islamic slogans. The Muslims first stopped the police van from entering the area and then chased and barred it from leaving. It remains a mystery as to how a group of goons teasing a couple of girls managed to gather hundreds of men from their community to stop the police from arresting them.
Police personnel who were surrounded by the mob could do little to handle the situation, and had to call for additional forces. Reports verify that contingents from eight surrounding local police stations had to be deployed in the area to bring the situation under control and restore the status quo, but not without the Muslim crowd attempting to attack them as well.
As per the latest information from the area, five men have been accused of crimes in connection with this so far. After subsequent investigations, police have also lodged an FIR against a dozen Muslims, identified as Anees, Bilal, Farukh, Junaid, Shadab, Sohial, and Waqar, among others, registering a case of an attempt to murder against them. The accused have been charged under the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for attempting to violate minors, booked under Sections of ST/SC Act for harassing and attacking people from the marginalized Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe. Several other sections of the Indian Penal code, including 147, 148, 149, 294, 307, 323, 354 and 506 have also been levied against them.
Communal conflicts have grown common in Indore lately. News sites are awash with cases of Muslim men from Indore posing as Hindus in order to trap Hindu women in romantic alliances and then inflicting physical and mental tortures upon them, if not killing them outright. In one of the most recent cases, one Faizaan befriended a Hindu woman who was running a parlor in the Kanadia area in Indore. He did so under the name Kabir Verma. He then resorted to blackmailing her, attempted to strangle her toddler, and forced her to convert and get her son circumcised, according to media reports.
Back in December 2020, residents from Muslim-dominated areas threw stones at members of a Hindu organization that was rallying to collect funds for the famous Ram Mandir construction; this led to a massive communal clash in the region.
The local BJP leader Pratap Karosiya, who reached the area to inspect the situation condemned the dastardly act and declared that in light of this life-threatening incident, members of the Valmiki community would not work in the Bombay Bazar area anymore. However, this escapist approach does not seem to provide a permanent solution to the increase of jihadist activities in Indore and its environs.
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