Nitish wants to ride on charged communal wave next poll?

Incidents of communal violence are rising. Mosques attacked in Gaya and Nawada. But Nitish remains mute spectator.

By Mumtaz Alam Falahi,,

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Patna: He won 2005 assembly poll riding on anti-incumbency wave. He retained power in 2010 in the name of ‘developing’ and ‘shining’ Bihar. But it seems he wants to make hat trick sailing on charged communal wave. In last two years, there has been sudden rise in incidents of communal violence and attacks on mosques in the state, but no stern action has been taken against the culprits, and this has emboldened the communal forces, feel members of the minority community.

Stones thrown into mosque in Gaya[Photo By Azhar Zaman]

In last two weeks, several incidents of communal violence have taken place in the state, during which at least three mosques were attacked by the miscreants but no action has been taken against them. This has emboldened the communal elements, but worried the minority community a lot.

What happened in Gaya on the day of Ram Navmi?
On the day of Ram Navmi (on Sunday, 1st April, three incidents took place in Gaya district alone. Two mosques were attacked and two shops of Muslims were first looted and then put on fire. Thirteen days have passed, but the police have not arrested even a single culprit.

RAF jawans marching on road in Gaya[Photo By Azhar Zaman]

A day before Ram Navmi, a group of miscreants stalled an idol and a Hindu religious flag on a piece of land owned by a Muslim in Ghugrital locality of Gaya city. The administration reached the spot next morning and removed them. But no culprit was arrested.

A Ram Navmi procession was taken out from Murarpur locality which has Muslims on one side and Hindus on the other. Every year the procession goes through the Hindu locality, but this time they took new route crossing Muslim-dominated area. Rather than stopping them from taking new route, the police facilitated them. Locals told TCN that while passing through the Muslim area, the processionists shouted provocative slogans and pelted stones at the Murarpur mosque. Though police were there, no action was taken.

In the evening another procession of Ram Navmi was passing on Bari Road. When they reached near Chatta Masjid in Chatta Bazar area, they stopped the procession and started shouting provocative slogans which resulted into stone pelting from both sides. Taking advantage of the thin and silent police personnel, the processionists went on rampage, they looted two shops of Muslims near the mosque and put it on fire and they also threw burning tires on the mosque. They also pelted stones on the mosque.

Two shops of Muslims looted and burned down in Gaya [Photo By Azhar Zaman]

Mr. Badiuzzaman, Gaya president of Jamaat Islami who headed a fact finding team to the affected areas day after the incident informed TCN that the spot is at stone’s throw from the police station but for almost two hours the police did nothing to stop the miscreants. The area has thin Muslim population. Their main area away from the main road is surrounded by the majority community. For first two hours police did not take any action and remained mute spectator. Then DIG, Gaya, Nayyar Hasnain Khan got the news about the incident and he reached the spot with additional enforcement and controlled the situation. But 13 days on, no miscreant has been arrested.

The affected shop owners have filed cases in the police station but no action against those who looted and burnt the shops, no arrest has been made. The shop owners claimed loss of Rs 4 lakh. The DM visited the site and public announced compensation to the shop owners, but they have not got anything yet, said Badiuzzaman.

On 3rd April, Gaya was repeated in Nawada
Two days after Gaya incident, the Moglakhar mosque in Nawada town first came under attack by miscreants who were part of Ram Navmi procession and then apparently to control the communal violence the police sprayed bullets on the mosque between Maghrib and Isha prayer time.

Moglakhar mosque in Nawada got first stones and then bullets

An eyewitness told TCN on phone that the processionists began shouting anti-Muslim provocative slogans when they were passing by the Moglakhar Masjid near railway crossing in Nawada town. This resulted in a pitch battle between the members of the two communities and soon stones from the procession began raining on the mosque and neighboring houses and shops. None among the miscreants have been arrested in Nawada as well.

In fact, three mosques have been attacked in Nawada alone in recent past.

Have communal forces got emboldened in Nitish-ruled Bihar?
Yes, says Badiuzzaman of Jamaat Islami. Since JDU-BJP government was formed in 2005, communalism has spread. “Village after village are getting communalized. Attacks on mosques have increased in recent times. But Muslims do not understand the gravity of the situation,” he says and criticizes Muslim religious organizations and spiritual leaders for remaining negligent towards the issue. “Muslim groups, heads of darghas and khanqahs are happy with donations from the chief minister. They think JDU is running the government but in fact BJP has communalized the system,” he avers.

Bullet marks on the side wall of Moglakhar mosque in Nawada

Senior Urdu journalist and Gaya Bureau Chief of Roznama Rashtriya Sahara, Azhar Zaman also feels the same. “Communal forces are feeling emboldened. They have no fear of law and administration. This is because no action has been taken against miscreants in last few years,” says Zaman and gives an example. “In Gaya itself in the recent past some bikers entered a Muslim locality and shouted provocative slogans and pelted stones on houses. The administration came and assured the people of action against the miscreants but nothing has happened,” he says.

In the latest case of 1st April, the incident happened at stone’s throw from police station, in the very presence of police but none has been arrested.

Do you think Nitish has failed in checking on communal forces? “The communal forces are getting support from the fact that BJP-JDU is in power. Nitish has indeed failed in checking communal forces. Not only this, he has allowed RSS to hold camps in Bihar. This never happened earlier.”

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