From rape to violence: Miscreants cause mayhem during Muharram

From rape to violence: Miscreants cause mayhem during Muharram


Multiple reports of violence were reported from all over the country during the Islamic event of Muharram processions. The roads were covered with bricks and stones, temples were vandalised, and stones were pelted at police and the general public across the country which led to serious injuries, dozens of vehicles were damaged and traffic jams were caused by the anti-social elements who masqueraded as mourners in the Muharram processions.

In further shocking news, a minor girl was gang-raped in Bihar by two individuals participating in a Muharram procession. Many startling pictures of the chaos and unrest have surfaced from different places in the country including Delhi, Varanasi, Pilibhit and Kaimur among others.

Gang rape of a minor in Araria

An alarming case of gang rape of a 17-year-old girl surfaced in Bihar’s Araria district. Two men named Mohammad Ashfaq and Mohammad Mumtaz who were part of a Muharram procession took her to a field and sexually assaulted her till she passed out. Afterwards, she was left there in her unconscious state by them. The instance happened on the night of 28 July and pertained to the Farbisganj police station.

The police have started an investigation after launching a First Information Report. The perpetrators were apprehended by the villagers who then turned them over to the police. The latter has received a complaint from the victim’s mother. She revealed that her daughter left their residence at 9 on the night of 27 July to witness a stick-juggling performance in the procession.

The assailants forcibly took her away to a field there and raped her one by one. When the family members embarked on a search for their missing daughter, she was discovered in a field not too far away, without a single cloth on her body. She was brought to a hospital for medical attention.

Afterwards, she regained consciousness and informed the police that she was gang-raped and accused Mohammad Mumtaz and Mohammad Ashfaq of the crime. She disclosed that they picked her up and took her to the field during the commotion of Muharram and repeatedly raped her. She eventually fainted after which they abandoned her on the spot and fled.

She remained immobile in the field for a considerable amount of time and when the locals learned about the episode, they were enraged and took the offenders to the authorities. Both are now in police custody while an inquiry is underway.

Stone pelting and ruckus in Pilibhit

The Bareilly Highway near Khamaria Bridge in Pilibhit reportedly remained under the control of rioters for about five hours on 29 July during which stones were also hurled intermittently. Police had to resort to a lathi charge at around 9:15 pm to disperse the rioters and bring the situation under control after which Tazias were taken out from there.

Regular traffic was then able to move on the highway. Commissioner Soumya Aggarwal and Inspector General of Police Rakesh Singh also reached the spot in the night. The Superintendent of Police Atul Sharma briefed them about the occurrence. Furthermore, police personnel were also called from Bareilly.

A conflict arose near the Khamaria Bridge after Kanwariya pilgrims were asked to stop their DJ by people in a Muharram procession. The altercation started at 4 pm and continued to grow as the evening progressed. SP Atul Sharma summoned Pradeshik Armed Constabulary (PAC) along with the force from other police stations.

Heavy police force was deployed at the location. (Source: Amar Ujala)

Multiple phases of negotiations were conducted with both parties, but no conclusion was reached. Meanwhile, the tension and aggression intensified over the course of the time which led to the hurling of stones at about 7:30 pm. When the authorities realised the gravity of the situation, they took a strong stance and used force to clear out the crowd and also released traffic which brought relief to the commuters.

The windows of the roadways were broken due to heavy stone pelting. Moreover, windscreens on the vehicles of the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Tehsildar, Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) Inspector, among others were also shattered. There was a stampede, however, police chased the people away. Another bus which arrived there from Haridwar was also attacked with stones which led to broken glasses and injuries of many passengers.

Magistrate’s car was vandalised. (Source: Amar Ujala)

Here, a railway line goes behind a temple and the Kanwariya pilgrims were staying nearby. Mourners abandoned their Tazias and ran to the railway line when the cops lathi-charged in the evening to clear the traffic jam on the highway. Stones from the railway line were utilised in the second stone-throwing instance which led to major chaos in the area. Police also spread out due to the massive attack.

Policemen and PAC personnel kept taking charge throughout the assault which caused them to suffer several wounds. Sticks and stones were used by the assalinats. A circle officer (CO) was also among those who got injured. It took until late at night to stabilise everything.

The wounded circle officer. (Source: Amar Ujala)

The Jehanabad police network was ineffective in this case. According to information, the Muslim side was anchored close to the Khamaria Bridge three to four days ago while the other one disapproved and objected to the same. When the issue was brought up at the police station, the officers seemed indifferent about it which led to the violence on 29 July.

Attack on a temple in Kaimur

People who were part of a Muharram procession damaged a Hindu temple in Kaimur district of Bihar. Two groups confronted each other during the procession which first led to sloganeering and later the attacks commenced with sticks and stones.

The Muslim radicals targeted a Hindu temple during this and also threw stones at the police when they arrived at the scene after learning about the occurance. Police then applied physical force to scatter the thronge. The miscreants are also tearing the sacred flag of the temple as well as targeting the vehicles parked in the surrounding region. 

Local media was informed by witnesses that radical Muslims had targeted the temple of Lord Shankar. The Muharram procession, based on them, never passes by the area where the temple is located. Furthermore, they rushed into their homes out of panic when the individuals taking out the Tazia defaced the sacred place and assaulted it with stones.

Assault on police in Nangloi

A Muharram procession in Delhi on 29 July turned violent after the participants attacked the police. The incident happened in Delhi’s Nangloi neighbourhood, where those carrying Tazia got into an altercation with the police, threw stones and caused damage to vehicles.

The instance took place near the Surjmal Stadium, after the Muslim side wanted to divert from the approved route and enter the facility. They assaulted the cops when they forbade the same and sealed the stadium gates.

The miscreants began throwing stones at the police when an argument over the matter broke out and resulted in a fight. In addition, they caused damage to buses and police vehicles. Several buses travelling by the vicinity at the time of the occurrence had their glass panes smashed. The mob was carrying swords which were drawn during the conflict.

Now, Nangloi police station has registered three First Information Reports and is looking through the area’s CCTV cameras to identify the assailants after launching a case against them.

Shia-Sunni clash and Pakistan Zindabad slogans in Varanasi

Muslims belonging to the Shia and the Sunni community clashed with each other during a Tazia procession on the occasion of Muharram in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh on 29 July.

Both sides indulged in sloganeering and threw stones at one another. More than 12 automobiles were set on fire during this time. Stones were also hurled at police cars. Tazias belonging to both communities endured damages during the commotion. Many people were also hurt as a result of the dispute.

Some even reportedly shouted Pakistan Zindabad during the episode, but there was no official confirmation of this as of yet. Tazia procession was being taken out from the Jaitpura Doshipura at around 2 pm.

A disagreement between some members of the Shia and Sunni communities amid this rapidly escalated into a full-fledged conflict. The participants began shouting slogans and attacking one another with rocks and stones. Notably, Shia and Sunni Muslims have a long history of sectarian violence and disagreements on various subjects relating to Islam.

More importantly, there is a long history of similar attacks on various Hindu festivals and religious processions as well. From Ram Navami, Kanwar Yatra to Durga Puja, no Hindu occasion is left without the mark of violence by the Muslim extremists. It is even more concerning that as the years go by, the instances have exacerbated and become more frequent.

Deaths caused by accidents

Apart from the violence during Muharram processions, several accidents also took place on Saturday resulting in several deaths. At least six people died and several were injured in 3 separate incidents of electrocution in Gujarat, Bihar, and Jharkhand. In all these incidents, the Tazia carried in Muharram processions hit high-tension electric wires and electrocuted participants.

The most serious of them was an incident in the Bokaro district of Jharkhand, where 4 persons died and 13 were injured when a battery exploded after coming into contact with a 11,000-volt power line through a meta flag pole attached to a Tazia. Similarly, two people lost their lives while 24 others suffered electric shocks in Dhoraji area of Gujarat after a Tazia touched a high tension line. Another similar incident took place in Gopalganj in Bihar, where 8 people were injured, after bamboo poles and tree branches carried by people touched an electric wire.


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