Eastern Times,New Delhi: In a resolution passed at the National Executive Council meeting, the Popular Front of India expressed deep concern over the increasing hate crimes and vilification campaign targeting the Muslim community.
Within the last few weeks, several incidents of violence against Muslims in different states were reported. Lynching people to death in the name of cow is continuously happening. People were killed in Assam, Rajasthan and Haryana in mob lynching incidents. A masjid was ransacked by a violent mob in Noida in which a Muslim man was seriously injured.
Similar attacks on Mosques happened in Haridwar and Mathura also. 24-year-old Aijaz Dar was beaten to death by a mob while returning home with a buffalo in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri.
In most of these incidents, the attackers hardly knew their victims and Muslim identity itself was a reason enough for them to commit cruelty on innocent people. Instead of ensuring justice and providing security to the victims, UP Govt is targeting journalists for reporting such incidents and activists for speaking out. Popular Front is of the view that there should be coordinated efforts among the victims and secular forces on social, legal and political fronts to counter this trend.
Arrest of Muslim preachers part of vilification campaigns ahead of UP elections
In another resolution, the NEC of Popular Front said that the arrest of innocent Muslim preachers in Uttar Pradesh is part of the vilification campaign initiated by the Yogi Govt against the Muslim community eyeing the upcoming assembly elections.
Popular Front of India condemns the arrest of Dr Mohammad Umar Gautam and Mufti Qazi Jahangir Qasmi by the UP Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) by accusing them of forced conversion. UP ATS is acting as the private militia of Yogi Adityanath to target his political opponents. The idea of forced conversion itself is absurd.
UP government has in fact stigmatised religious conversion, a right protected by the constitution, and categorised it under terrorist activities. The draconian anti-conversion law in force in the state is totally against the idea of freedom of conscience, freedom to practice, profess and propagate one’s religion guaranteed under Article 25 of the Indian constitution.
Yogi govt is aware of people’s dissatisfaction with its misrule and failures on every front. They are in search of newer ways of manufacturing fear and hatred against Muslims and creating communal polarisation. Using some sections of media, they are propagating fake news about Rohingya refugees, Muslim demographics and forced conversion just like they used ‘Love Jihad’ propaganda in the past. UP police continue to arrest innocent Muslims in false cases on draconian charges. Nobody asks or cares about the plight of these innocents afterwards. Most of these cases fall apart in the courts after years of incarcerations.
Popular Front calls upon the democratic forces in the state and the country at large to resist these persecutions of innocents legally and democratically.