Indian authorities demolished several homes linked to riots that were triggered by derogatory remarks regarding the Prophet Mohammed.
Muslims and rights groups interpreted destruction as punishment for protests following comments made by a member Prime Minister NarendraModi‘s Hindu nationalist BJP.
One of the riot organizers was killed in his house in Prayagraj. Two other people were accused of throwing stones following Friday prayers.
Reuters reported that a spokesperson for BJP said that Yogi Adityanath (the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh) ordered officials to demolish illegal establishments and homes belonging to people who were accused of being involved in the riots.
Authorities in the state, however, claimed Monday that at least one home was illegally constructed on public land.
A representative of Uttar Pradesh’s Hindu hardline leader stated that they aren’t demolishing houses to stop Muslims protesting. They have every right to go to the streets.
In recent weeks, Muslims protested in various Indian states against anti- Islamic comments made by two members from the BJP.
There have been clashes between police and protestors in many areas, as well as intercommunal violence.
This comes amid a context in which many Muslims have been questioning their role in India’s society since Modi took power in 2014.
Critics claim that his BJP is sometimes deliberately confrontational and promotes the idea of India as a Hindu nation, despite India’s Constitution declaring it a secular country.
Many Muslims view Hindu nationalists’ actions, which may include rounding up opponents they call “anti-national”, to be an attempt at marginalizing them. Despite the fact that Muslims account for 13% of India’s population,
The name of the city that was demolished saw its official title changed by the BJP-led state government in 2018, from Allahabad (now Prayagraj), angering BJP opponents.
Despite the fact that countries like Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have made diplomatic protests, Modi has not commented.
On Monday, leaders of mosques and Islamic groups called on fellow Muslims to stop planning for protests and avoid large gatherings.
Two teenagers from Islam were killed and thirty others were injured in protests last week.
Malik Aslam is a senior member Jamaat e Islami Hind. This Muslim organization operates in many Indian states.
During a debate on television, a spokesperson for BJP made one of the offensive comments. A party spokesperson via social media made the other offensive comment that disturbed Muslims.
The BJP suspended the first and expelled it the second. Although the party claimed that it deprecated any insult to any religion, angered Muslims took to the streets.
Officials said that a young man was arrested by police in Indian-controlled Kashmir for posting a video threating to kill the official making the comment on social networking.
There have been at least 400 arrests of suspected rioters during unrest in various states, and curfews imposed.