Police claim to foil communal clash in Muslim youth’s assault: Rourkela

The Brahmani Tarang police averted an attempt to give a communal colour to an assault case

odisha police

An attempt to give communal colour to an assault case in Kalunga area was foiled by Brahmani Tarang police on Wednesday, The Indian Express reported.

The communally sensitive area of Kalunga witnessed a classic mix-up of cases this week.

In what seemed to be a case of a love-affair, a Muslim youth was assaulted by a group of villagers at the communally sensitive area of Kalunga near the Kalunga police station on Tuesday night when he was caught with a girl from another community.

In another case on October 26 night, a Bajrang Dal activist was standing alone near the Kalunga level-crossing when three Muslim youths arrived and clashed with him after an altercation.

Just then, some Bajrang Dal supporters assembled at the spot, but the police intervened to diffuse the tension right before the issue could flare up.

Even though the police had taken a written undertaking from both the sides and let them go, a group of local Muslim leaders flocked to the police station allegedly trying to link the two separate incidents. Saying that it was the Bajrang Dal activists who assaulted the boy, the police alleged that the Muslim leaders said they would ‘avenge’ the incident.

However, the police who were apparently prepared with the preliminary investigation of the incident involving the Muslim youth that took place on Tuesday night, said that they apprised the Muslim leaders of the facts and warned them not to incite communal tension.

Rourkela SP K Siva Subramani told the paper that Tuesday’s incident involved no communal angle, the minority youth was beaten up in the case of a love angle and that appropriate action was taken against the accused.

A case has been registered at BrahmaniTarang police station against a group of persons for assaulting the Muslim youth and investigation is underway.

Odisha has always been a hotbed for communal violence. A story by Scroll.in in 2018 maps the history of such incidents.

In Gurudijhatia in Cuttack district, it was the homes of Dalit residents that had been set on fire by their upper caste neighbours. The immediate provocation seemed political.

The Bajrang Dal last August, along with other Sanghorganisations, surrounded a Christian place of worship and shouted fearsome slogans. The people at the Bhadrak chapel ran away in fear, after which the the mob burnt down the chapel and knocked down the gravestones, desecrating and turning over the graves.
In April 2017, tension flared up after two teenaged school friends exchanged private messages that were disrespectful of each other’s faith. The message fell into the hands of a member of a communal organisation that has been trying hard to deepen the communal divide between the religious groups. He extracted a portion of the post that was disrespectful to Hindu gods and circulated it on WhatsApp.

Last year, members of the theBajrang Dal, had gone on a rampage when they found 25 cows being transported on a train. It did not matter to them that these cows were being shifted by the Tamil Nadu veterinary department from Salem to their counterparts in Meghalaya. They attacked the transporters and railway officials, chained two innocent men (including a passenger who had nothing to do with the transport of the animals) to an iron pole and beat them, released the cows, and held up the train for two hours.

Sabrang India tried to contact police officials to find out the truth of the matter in Tuesday night’s incident, but they were not available for comment.

Calling a spade a spade: Hindutva Terrorism
History of Attacks on Christians by the Right Wing in India
Man beheaded in Odisha for converting to Christianity



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