Hindu women belonging to SC community were stopped from performing Holika pujan in the village of Salamba, Nuh district, Haryana on Thursday by some Muslim villagers. The women were assaulted, abused with casteist slurs, and their puja material thrown away, Dainik Jagran has reported.
Dalit women of the village – Nirmala, Santosh, Guddi, Bhagwati, Rajbala, Jagwati, Saraswati, Gyanwati etc – have complained to police that they were performing Holika pujan (a prayer ceremony performed before Holika Dahan, i.e. symbolic burning of wood pyre, at night) on Thursday afternoon, when Muslim women from the same village – Haleema (w/o Yunus), Maimoona (w/o Sakir) – came and spilled water over the puja site and threw away the puja material. When they protested, they were abused with casteist slurs and beaten up.
The Hindu women tried to board an auto to go to the police station, but the villagers did not allow them. So they walked to the Nuh police station to lodge their complaint. Police DSP and SHO reached the village to investigate the matter.
The Muslims women who threw the puja material, and their families, claim that the land where the puja was being held belongs to them, whereas the victims said that the land belongs to the Dalit community. They said that they have been holding the Holika Pujan at the same place for 3 years – and every year, they have to face such opposition and atrocity.
Other people in the village said the land belongs to the Panchayat. ASI Sankutraj found that that land indeed belongs to the panchayat. Police brought both parties to the Nuh police station to try and settle the matter.
Even if it is true that the land where the Hindu women were performing Holika pujan was common land of the entire village, why did it invite such ferocious opposition from some Muslims of the village? Will the evasive advocates of ‘Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb’ such as Javed Akhtar, Rana Safvi, Jyoti Malhotra etc or the elite left-liberal cabal visit village Salamba and try to reason with the intolerant villagers?
Such incidents are not uncommon in Nuh (historical name Mewat) district, where Muslims constitute 79.2% of the population, and Hindus are 20.3%. Just last month, a Dalit family in Mohlaka village of the Nagina Khand region in Mewat was brutally attacked by a Muslim family for refusing to convert to Islam. Earlier, two Muslim teachers of a Govt. run Model school were accused of forcing Hindu students to read namaz.
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