On 31st July, unbridled violence was unleashed against Hindu devotees, participating in a Jalabhishek Shobha Yatra organised by VHP in Nuh of Mewat, Haryana. A Muslim mob went on a rampage pelting stones, shooting and murdering Hindu devotees in a pre-planned assault against Hindu devotees. An example of the brutality unleashed was what happened to Abhishek, a Hindu devotee who was first shot by the Muslim mob, then, his throat was slit open and as if that was not enough, the mob next crushed his head with a large stone.
After the one-sided unbridled violence, the usual suspects – Islamists and Leftists – started their attempt to shield Islamists by first claiming that it was the Hindus who “provoked” violence and when that trope fell flat, claiming that it was the Hindus who initiated the violence.
Their first assertion was that it was the “presence” of Monu Manesar in the Shobha Yatra that provoked violence. When it was proved that Monu Manesar was not present at the procession, they changed their tune to claim that it was a video released by Monu Manesar that provoked immediate violence. After that, when proof started emerging of the violence being a pre-planned campaign, the narrative shifted to claiming that it was the Hindus who initiated the violence and that no violence was perpetrated by the Muslim mob at all.
One of the people at the forefront of running that narrative was fake news peddler and professional dog whistler Mohammad Zubair, the co-founder of AltNews.
Zubair posted a video where a man in a white shirt could be seen shooting towards the mountains from the premises of the temple where Hindus were stuck in a hostage-like situation. The Hindu devotees who came under attack had run to hide in the temple and could not leave because Jihadis were baying for their blood outside. It is evidenced in the FIRs that a portion of the premises of the temple was also damaged in the Jihadi violence.
EXCLUSIVE: You See the guy shooting from inside Nalhar Shiv Temple in police presence? #MewatAttack
There are many ‘Activists’ in T-shirt which has ‘Bajrang Dal Sonipat Haryana’ written on it. Who’s the guy shooting? Thread 👇 pic.twitter.com/9OKks8mz34
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) August 2, 2023
Publishing this video, there are several other posts on the timeline of Zubair that extend support to the Mewati Jihadis who unleashed violence against Hindus and even claim that the violence was initiated by the Hindus.
There was another tweet that Zubair had retweeted and then undid the RT when his lie was caught. It essentially said that there are videos of Hindus shooting, but none of the Muslims shooting from the mountain side and there unless there is video evidence of the same, it is lie that Muslims were the aggressors.
It is pertinent to note that only after there was backlash for this argument and video was also posted, did Zubair undid his RT. There was no apology or retraction offered by him.
The video of Ashok Baba, a VHP worker and lawyer, firing a weapon from the premises of the temple was used to claim that it was the Hindus who initiated the violence. However, that is untrue. Several FIRs, including those by a Muslim magistrate, prove that the violence was initiated by the Jihadis. There is specific mention in the FIR that the Muslim mob was firing from the mountain side and there is video evidence of the same.
Essentially, it is the Muslim mob which surrounded the Hindus and started firing from the mountainous region. The firing by Hindus was only in self-defence. One has to ask that if Hindus were the ones who started the violence, why would they be pointing the gun towards the mountains and firing while trying to save their lives hiding in a temple? Besides the logical fallacy, one also has to recognise the dangers of the narrative peddled by the likes of Zubair – victims of mob violence would not be standing with a camera trying to capture Jihadis firing at them – rather – they would be trying to save their lives, especially when hundreds of women and children were also held hostage in the Temple by a mob firing and pelting stones outside.
There has now been a statement issued by Ashok Baba as well, who was seen in that video firing a gun towards the mountains.
Ashok Baba says that the rifle he was using was his own and is a licensed weapon. He says that in several cases, he is the witness and has helped catch several criminals with a prize on the head, owing to the complaints that he has filed. It is because of his work and the threats that come with it has he got a weapon which was licensed by the government after threat perception was proven.
He further says that he had to fire in desperation because there were several Hindus, including thousands of women and children, who were trapped in the Temple with the mob firing several rounds at them towards the Temple. IG Mamata Singh, he says, had also come there with 15-20 police officials and she is witness that 50-100 rounds of shots were taken at them at the same time. He says that one person also got a gunshot wound in the Jihadi firing. He says that because of this, he had to fire in the air to stop the Jihadis from attacking. He further says that there were several people in the mountains who were firing constantly.
It is pertinent to note that some of the Hindu devotees were carrying weapons for the purpose of Shastra puja. That has also been used by the Islamists to blame Hindus after they came under attack by Islamists.
Interestingly, Mamata Singh led the police squad that saved the 2500–3000 Hindus who were trapped in a hostage situation at the Nalhar temple on the fateful day.
In a video shared on Twitter by India TV, the IPS officer recounted how the Islamists, armed with stones and sophisticated weapons, carried out the planned attack on the Hindu devotees who had reached there to take part in the Jalabhishek Yatra on the auspicious Monday of the Shravan month.
Describing the situation in Nuh on the day the violence happened to be extremely critical, the IPS officer said that when she reached there she was told that there were 2500 to 3000 people who were trapped in the Nalhar Temple.
Further explaining the challenges the police faced while trying to save the Hindus trapped in the Nalhar Temple, Mamata Singh recalled how large-scale firing continued to happen from the hills surrounding the temple on three sides. The IPS officer added that though police were present there in large numbers they were hugely outnumbered by the rioters.
“In a situation like this, it was no less than a challenge for the police to free the trapped Hindu devotees, which included several women, small children and the aged. Since the rioters kept spraying bullets from all three sides, we asked our policemen to use retaliatory firing so that we could get cover which would, in turn, help us enter the Temple and free the trapped devotees,” recalled ADGP Mamata Singh.
Continuing to divulge more details of the mayhem unleashed by Islamists in the Nuh district during the rally, the IPS officer said, “Even when it was about to get dark, the shooting continued. The rioters were deliberately firing in the direction where they spotted people gathered in greater numbers rather than targeting a specific individual in order to cause the most damage. Going by the severity of the situation, we realised that we would have to evacuate the devotees in small groups.”
“I first led the women out of the temple. They were all petrified. In such a situation, we had to pacify them, assure them that they would be safe as well as make sure that they were safely evacuated. It was a mammoth task,” Mamata Singh said, adding that she had to lead the devotees through the fields since the size and scale of the arson on all the roads leading to the temples was so huge that those routes could not be used.
It is, therefore, evident that the version of events of Ashok Baba is accurate, given that they have been corroborated by police officer Mamata Singh who was present at the Nalhar temple where this video was taken. Therefore, the assertions by Islamists that it was the Hindus who initiated the violence and that nobody was firing from the mountains are inaccurate, designed to shift blame from the Islamist mobs which attacked Hindu devotees.