Muslims in parts of India arrested, flogged in public for allegedly disrupting Navratri celebrations: reports

Published October 5, 2022
A house of a Muslim resident being demolishes in Madhya Pradesh’s Surjani village. — Photo courtesy Maktoob
A house of a Muslim resident being demolishes in Madhya Pradesh’s Surjani village. — Photo courtesy Maktoob

Muslims in multiple areas of India are facing arrests, demolitions, and even floggings for allegedly disrupting Navratri celebrations, according to Indian media reports.

A report by New Delhi-based Maktoob Media on Tuesday said that the houses of three Muslims accused of disrupting Navratri celebrations in Madhya Pradesh’s Surjani village were demolished.

“The Mandsaur district administration and police demolished the houses of three persons accused of throwing stones on a garba pandal (Hindu traditional dancing event) and attacking organisers with a sharp-edged weapon over the weekend,” the report quoted Madhya Pradesh police as saying.

A first information report (FIR) was registered against 19 people of Surjani village and 11 have been arrested so far, the report added.

Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday that at least 14 Muslim men had been arrested in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city over the past week after “vigilantes” from Bajrang Dal — a Hindu nationalist organisation — handed them over to police for allegedly entering garba venues.

The report quoted police as claiming that the arrested men “were clicking pictures and disturbing the peace”.

The men taken into custody, the report said, were booked under Section 151 (knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons likely to cause a disturbance of the public peace) of the Indian Penal Code.

Separately, NDTV reported on Tuesday that several Muslim men, arrested for allegedly throwing stones at a Navratri garba event, were tied to a pole and flogged by police by Gujarat’s Kheda district.

According to the report, which said the publication could not independently verify the footage, said crowds were seen cheering as officers watched plainclothes cops hit the men.

Local news outlet VTV Gujarati News also shared the video and said “10-11 heretics were brought to the village, where the police taught them a lesson in public” in Undhela village, the report said.

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