Yuva - India

Communal Violence at Chhabra, Baran: Exposing the Reality

On Saturday, 11th April, it came to light that two youth from the Gujjar community, Kamal Gurjar and Dhakad Singh were brutally stabbed by five Muslim youth on the pretext of a petty verbal argument. This soon took shape of heavy communal violence.

After two youths from the Gujjar community, Kamal Gurjar and Dhakad Singh were stabbed in cold blood by five Muslim youths, the Gujjar community and the relatives of the two victims took to the streets to protest against police inaction wherein the police had let the key accused roam scot free. While the Gujjar community was peacefully protesting, a Muslim mob started setting fire to the shops and showrooms of the Hindus. Violence spread like wildfire in no time and the police had to resort to lathi-charge and throwing tear gas shells to control the mob. After large-scale destruction, the authorities imposed a strict curfew in the town, and internet services were suspended.

To get an insight into the matter, Goa Chronicle talked to a resident of Chhabra who owns an agricultural equipment business. When asked about what happened in the Chhabra town of Rajasthan, he revealed, “On Friday evening, two youth from the Hindu community were buying grapes from a fruit seller. While they were busy doing so, there arrived two Muslim youth on a bike and asked Kamal and Dhakad to go away in no time; to which they responded that they would leave only when they are done with buying commodities. And to this, the Muslims asked them to keep shut and this turned into a verbal argument. Who knows what the Muslims’ intention was? While the two were arguing with Kamal and Dhakad, 3-5 more Muslims joined the two and all of them started stabbing Kamal and Dhakad brutally! Rakesh Nagar, who happened to own a shop at the spot where this incident took place, went in to help the Hindu victims. Therefore, he was stabbed multiple times as well. Soon, all the victims were rushed to the hospital”.

He went on, “The police personnel failed the victims and their family members by not arresting the assailants. While the Hindu community was on its way to submit a memorandum to the police, the Muslim community gathered in large numbers too! Earlier, all the police did was showcasing fake arrests on paper. Nobody was arrested out of the assailants in reality. The real culprits were roaming scot-free and that is why the Hindus were exasperated. And even though the culprits were not even nabbed, the violence was unleashed by the Muslim community. Why did the Muslims gather in such large numbers? Not only did they gather but they were the ones who began setting fires to the shops which were owned by Hindus. The Hindus have suffered huge economic losses. This violence was pre-planned. The Muslims were yielding weapons like iron rods and carried petrol bags. They damaged the shutters of shops and hurled petrol bags inside which were lit up with matchsticks thrown inside”.

Talking about the current scenario and the police inaction, he said, “Internet services continue to be suspended. A strict curfew is in place too. Long phone calls get disconnected on their own. Jammers are at a place in some areas and there is zero connectivity as a result. If the police personnel would have nipped the Muslim gathering in the bud, things could have been different. Neither did the police arrest the culprits nor did it try to stifle the violent Muslim mob in time. They had a span of 3 hours before the Muslim mob wreaked complete havoc, why was the requisite action not taken? Only after the violence reached its peak was when the police vehicles started reaching the affected areas. This could have been warded off. The police showed a complete lackadaisical behaviour”.

He highlighted the pertinence of Rajasthan’s political scenario and commented, “The Congress government in Rajasthan doesn’t want the Muslims to face the heat. When the BJP was elected to rule, the Muslims had set fire to places”.

Next, we conversed with Mahesh Gaur, a local journalist associated with First India who earlier worked with ETV Rajasthan who, commenting on the communal violence said, “It has been 6 days after the violence broke out and a strict curfew is imposed. Chhabra has been turned into a police cantonment itself. STF battalion is deployed in the then-affected areas. 500 police personnel along with the DIG, Ravi Sabarwal, and the IG are on the ground. Around 36 people have been arrested so far, 7 are in jail. There has been an economic loss worth Rs. 25- 30 crore and more than 48 shops were burned down by Muslim mobs. Large showrooms and three-story houses were targeted by them. The Muslims selectively targeted shops owned by the Hindus. The police proved to be a meek spectator and did not take the necessary legal action”.

Mr. Gaur further revealed, “The police continued to watch as the Muslims wreaked havoc for around 3.5-4 hours. All they did was obstruct the Gujjars. The violence was pre-planned. The Muslims were ready with weapons of all sorts including swords. The Gujjars were going to the SDM to submit a memorandum, the police stifled them. And thus, the Gujjars were peacefully protesting, sitting on the roads. While this was going on, the Muslims began vandalizing the Hindu shops at the Aliganj market area. They ransacked, vandalized, looted, and burned down the shops and showrooms. We kept on informing the police but they were in deliberate oblivion. The police were hand in glove with the Muslims. Whenever the Congress government is elected to rule Rajasthan, the Muslims behave as if they own the ruling dispensation. And the local Muslim officials of Baran provide a haven to the Muslim populace. Even innocent Gujjars are being fixed in cases. The stabbers who attacked the two Gujjar boys are absconding! The police are smartly naming Muslim minors in the case of violence so that they escape the law easily”.

“Everything was pre-planned. The Muslims, politicians, local administration, and the police are all working in collusion. Even Muslims from outside Baran were present in the mobs. The violence was smartly stage-managed. Earlier, communal violence took place 3-4 years back. Back then, the Muslims had beaten a Hindu boy black and blue and then started pelting stones on the Hindus. Arson and damaging shops had followed. Hindus are always their target. The Muslims aim to jeopardize the Hindus’ ventures so that it becomes difficult for us to live here. They want to oust our property and pave way for an exodus. And the police continue to protect the Muslims and provide them with a cover- fire. Chhabra is placed on a ticking time bomb, whenever the Muslims unleash violence in the future, they will brazenly enter our homes to kill us. At all the times when Congress rules our state, the Hindus are undermined and the Muslims gain complete control of affairs”.

Talking about the Hindus’ actions, the First India journalist told us, “The Hindus continue to demand justice. They are approaching the officials and have registered police complaints. They have asked for compensation. The businessmen have vowed not to open their shops and showrooms until the culprits are apprehended. We are buying milk and vegetables from the black market. The authorities have been able to begin the supply of milk and medical aid on the 15th. The curfew is strict. Nobody can leave or enter the town. The markets are completely shut. The curfew doesn’t seem to get relaxed shortly and the real culprits continue to roam freely. Even the Muslims who have been arrested will come out of prison in 15 days. These are shams of arrests”.

He let us know journalists’ plight, “We and the police are now at loggerheads. We did not get permission to cover reality. Even I was stuck amid the Muslim rioters and had narrowly escaped the police firing. The Jaipur team of the Republic media network had reached our town and I was then able to cover the story with them. We need to move to neighbouring areas with internet facilities to broadcast the news. The SP, IG, and DSP don’t want to talk at all. Authorities stay mum! 10-15 people are living in one small place to stay safe and together. We are fearful for our lives”.

Goa Chronicle will continue to bring you reports from ground zero to let the real truth have a rendezvous with you.

Sonakshi Datta

Intern, Goa Chronicle

DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author

#Chhabra, #Baran, #Rajasthan, #MuslimMob, #CommunalViolence, #Congress, #ChhabraViolence

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