“Extremist Hindus have been selectively targeting those villages where Muslims are few in number and economically weak”: Jamiat
English translation of report published in Inquilab daily:
Kodarma: Several days after Ram Navmi processionists stormed inside a mosque in Kol Garma village, Kodarma district, Jharkhand, attacked and injured several namaazis including the imam, the police have yet to make any arrests.
It may be recalled that the Muslims were attacked for ignoring the diktat of Hindu extremists not to call the azaan and say the evening (asr) and dusk (maghrib) namaaz in the mosque on Ram Navmi day.
When asked about the incident, the convener of Insaaf India, Mustaqeem Siddqui told Inquilab, “The mosque was not even on the route of the procession. In fact, it is situated 50 feet away from the road”.
The local representative of the Jamiatul-ulema, Hind, said: “In the first place, they had strongly opposed the building of the mosque, but the Muslims recently managed to do so”. Others too confirmed that communal-minded Hindus were unhappy over the erection of the mosque.
When asked how only three Muslims were present for the dusk time namaz, Siddiqui replied, “You are well aware how many Muslims pray regularly”.
When contacted telephonically, Kodarma’s Superintendent of Police, Surendra Kumar Jha denied that Muslims had been attacked inside the mosque. But Siddiqui insists otherwise. He pointed out that this fact was even reported to the local thana by the policemen who had accompanied the procession.
Siddiqui said that the injured persons were initially taken to the local hospital but on the advice of the medical team they were transferred to the Ranchi Institute of Medical Sciences. He added that when a police team later arrived in the village and tried to arrest two of the accused, an attempt was made to kidnap two of them. This forced the police to flee from the village.
It is reported that of the 10-12 Muslim families who are residents of Kol Garma village, four have already left the village, while the others are still living there amidst fear and insecurity.
While speaking to Inquilab, Maulana Abu Bakr, general secretary of Kodarma’s Jamiat unit confirmed the incident saying, “Hindu extremists targeted namaazis and other Muslims inside the mosque in Kol Garma village during which the imam, Maqbool Ahmed was seriously injured. The assailants who were carrying saffron flags arrived at the entrance of the mosque and then forcibly entered it shouting, ‘Jai Shri Ram’”.
The maulana also disclosed that while there are only a few Muslim homes in Kol Garma, they have a significant presence in neighbouring villages.
He added that extremist Hindus have been selectively targeting those villages where Muslims are few in number and economically weak.
The Jamiat workers and other Muslims from the neighbourhood have rushed relief supplies to their co-religionists from Kol Garma. The situation is presently under control though the Muslims are living in fear and uncertainty.
Incidentally, when contacted, Kodarma’s police chief Jha tried to play down the attack incident. Blaming both communities for the incident, he claimed that they had resorted to fisticuffs but no weapons such as iron rods, sharp knives or swords were used.
Meanwhile three FIRs have been registered against persons from both communities for disturbing peace, spreading communal hatred and physical attacks.
Jha said that after the incident four Muslims and three Hindus were admitted to the district’s Civil Hospital. Six of them have been discharged while an elderly Muslim is still undergoing treatment.
Claiming that the two communities have been living together peacefully in Kol Garma, the SP added that none of the guilty will be spared. But he had no answer to the question as to why Muslims too have been made the accused when in fact it was they who were targeted. He said both sides had resorted to violence and investigations are ongoing.