Anti-CAA and NRC protests have taken a violent turn and Aligarh has witnessed unprecedented violence where Hindus have been targeted by Islamists. Islamists have also used these protests to fan hatred and attack police. Some women students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) are accused of instigating rioters. More than 300 people have been booked by the Uttar Pradesh Police following violence on Sunday, 23rd February.
Aligarh DM: Some women students from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) are behind this,we are trying to identify them. We are ascertaining the damage caused by rioters&it will be recovered from them. Situation is under control now. https://t.co/9LYKZnXRr9
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 23, 2020
Protestors pelted stones on police vehicles which they suspected were ferrying arrested Muslim youth. While the police maintain that this act was triggered by a rumour doing the rounds, according to District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh the incident occurred after women students of AMU instigated the protestors. He further said that those responsible for the damages would have to bear the cost and notices to that effect would be sent to the culprits after identifying them.
Tear gas shells were used to disperse the vast crowds which had gathered in various parts of the city and were indulging in vandalism and wanton destruction of public property besides pelting stones on police personnel. Sloganeering protestors have been harassing common public ever since the anti-CAA and anti-NRC protests have broken out. Political parties have used this opportunity to fan communal hatred which was demonstrated by protestors destroying Hindu temples in Aligarh. As per reports at least three temples, including the Bhagwan Sri Valmiki Temple were destroyed by vandals.
It is not just about violence, arson and vandalism. It is being proved time and again that these protests are not about CAA and NRC but are being run by Islamists with pro-Pak leanings. ACM II Ranjit Singh said that ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans have been raised at these protests and a report regarding the same is being sent to higher authorities. Efforts are being made to request the protestors to end the road blockade and two meetings of the peace committee were also held. It has now emerged that though the locals want the blockade to end, outsiders who have hijacked the protests aren’t allowing this to happen.
At the Shahzamal protest site two youths were seen distributing pamphlets and on being apprehended by the police they ran away. The police later confiscated the pamphlets. The protests at Old Chungi have also continued. The police scuttled an attempt to erect shamiana tents. In the meanwhile, ADG Ajay Anand, DIG Dr. Pritender Singh, DM-SSP and several religious leaders tried to ease tensions in old city by conducting a peace march. Earlier a meeting of the peace committee was held at Uparkot Police Station. The march was conducted through several areas of the old city appealing for peace.
Large scale violence has created an environment of fear which forced Hindu shop owners to keep their establishments closed for day. Earlier a student leader Vishal had tweeted to CM Yogi Adityanath apprising him of the fear among Hindu shop owners. It was only after receiving assurance from police and district administration that the shop owners got back to business. However, tensions have hardly eased and a majority of Hindus who are tired of the constant violence have offered to sell their properties in Muslim dominated areas of Aligarh like Babri Mandi. Some of them have expressed their anguish to the media as reported by the Times of India.
It has become practically impossible for Hindus to continue residing in Muslim dominated Babri Mandi area of Aligarh. While one resident Neha Agarwal said that communal violence in any part of the city definitely affects Hindus of Babri Mandi, another resident Dwarka Prasad opined that ‘they’ (Muslims) have been creating hooliganism in the area since anti-CAA protests have broken out and hence he and other Hindus have decided to sell their properties and move out seeking safety for their families. An elderly woman Sharda Devi added that although the area and city have witnessed several communal tensions over the years, what is worrying is the violence unleashed in the name of protests.
(Featured Image Source: The Economic Times)
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