Nuh: the conspiracy—A probe recommended
On 31 July 2023, a communal clash broke out during a religious procession taken out in Mewat by the Bajrang Dal and the VHP, resulting in the death of five people and at least 80 injured
An independent fact-finding committee constituted by Jan Hastakshep, an NGO, to look into the recent communal violence that rocked Nuh and the adjoining districts of Haryana, has demanded a free and fair independent inquiry by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court or the Supreme Court in order to reveal the entire conspiracy behind the violence and to fix the accountability.
On 31 July 2023, a communal clash broke out during the Brijmandal Jalabhishek Yatra taken out in Mewat by the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. It resulted in the death of five people, including two homeguards, and injured at least 80. The communal clashes first broke out after rumours were spread that the absconding cow vigilante Monu Manesar, a key accused in Bhiwani killings, would attend the procession.
The charred bodies of Junaid and Nasir — both cousins — were found inside the four-wheeler in Haryana’s Bhiwani district on February 16. The Rajasthan police had named 21 people, including Bajrang Dal member Monu Manesar, in the abduction and murder of two Muslim men.
The report demanded that chief protagonists of this violence — Bittu Bajrangi and Monu Manesar — be arrested immediately and booked under sections of IPC befitting of the grievousness of their criminal actions.
It was pointed out, in the report, the unity of Jats and Meos has emerged as a bulwark against the communal designs of the Hindutva supporters. The team found that Jats were aware that the procession was staged by the BJP for their political objectives. They also nurse a grouse against the BJP for its attitude towards Jat agitation demanding reservations in jobs, for calling Jats anti-national during the farmers’ movement when the BJP coined the slogan “35 biradari ek taraf, aur Jat ek taraf” (of all the 36 segments among the Hindus, the rest 35 should isolate the Jats).
On 3 August 2023, a panchayat was held in the Meo majority village Kot Gaon, situated close to Mandkola village, wherein leaders of both the Hindu and Muslim Pals (socially the equivalent of the Jat Khaps) got together. Among the Meos leaders of Chiraklot Pal, Demroth Pal and Mangariya Pal were present, while on the side of the Hindus Rawat Pal, Sanrot Pal and Sehrawat Pal were present. The panchayat resolved to maintain formidable unity among Hindus and Muslims against the attempts being made to drive a communal wedge.
The Meos of village Ghagot were assured by the Jats of Alawalpur village that anyone eying to harm the Muslims shall first have to contend with them.
The team found out that all the seven FIRs registered at Nuh city police station refer only to Muslim community in different ways — ‘the crowd was shouting slogans of Allah Hu Akbar’, or ‘a crowd of Meo Muslim community’, or ‘persons belonging to one community’.
The report highlights that a call had been given by the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad for the Brijmandal Jalabhishek Yatra to be taken out in Mewat on 31 July 2023 and a concerted effort was made to raise the communal temperature and provoke the local Muslims through social media posts. Among these, the videos posted by Monu Manesar and Bittu Bajrangi had been the most notorious.
The government’s intelligence gathering machinery and the civil society in Nuh had forewarned of the trouble in the areas that the yatra participants were scheduled to walk through. However, these warnings were ignored.
Some Muslim youth got provoked and some retaliatory videos were uploaded by Muslim youth as well in response. All evidence points that not only was the violence witnessed during the Nuh ‘shobha yatra’ a clash between the participants in the yatra on one side and the local Muslim youth on the other side, but that both sides had prepared themselves for the showdown.
The fact-finding team comprised journalists Saeed Naqvi and Astha Savyasachi, Janahastakshep members Anil Dubey and Satish, photojournalist Pradeep, and Janhastakshep convenor Dr Vikas Bajpai.
Published: 09 Aug 2023, 5:11 PM