Assam Turns into ‘Dadri’: a story of religious divide

Assam Turns into ‘Dadri’: a story of religious divide

Biswanath Chariali Biswanath Chariali

Guwahati, April 9, 2019:

It is rather unusual for the state Assam to witness an incident like the one which occurred at Biswanath Chariali on Monday that appears to be the horrific culmination of the hate spread in the name of Hindutwabadi. This takes us back to the incident of Dadri (in Uttar Pradesh) mob lynching on September 28, 2015.

Scenes from a day before:

In Biswanath Chariali of Assam, a local named Shaukat Ali, a 68-year old was thrashed by a mob while on his way to a ‘line’ hotel, the business he has been running for 35 years. The situation intensified as locals surrounded the man after he was accused of carrying beef and he was subsequently thrashed and forced to eat pork. Police later dispersed the crowd and Ali was rushed to the Civil Hospital in Bishwanath Chariali after the incident.

Note: It may be mentioned that beef is not illegal in Assam as many non-Muslim communities consume the meat.

Scenes from Dadri:

On September 28, 2015, a mob of villagers at Bisara village near Dadri in Uttar Pradesh of India gathered around the house of a 52- year old Muslim man named Muhammad Akhlaq at night. Akhlaq and his son Danish were already asleep. The mob woke them up and accused them of consuming beef. They found some meat in the refrigerator and seized it, but the family insisted it was mutton. The mob dragged the entire family outside and Akhlaq and Danish were repeatedly kicked, hit with bricks and stabbed. In the incident, Akhlaq lost his life. The police collected a sample of the meat from Akhlaq's house in Bisada and sent it to a vet for preliminary testing. These tests suggested it was mutton, but the police sent the sample to another lab in Mathura for a conclusive test. A top government official then stated that the report from Mathura also confirmed that it was mutton.

Reaction from people on Biswanath incident:

The incident has led to a wipe spread hue-and-cry in the state of Assam after the incident. Let’s hear it from a few known figures:

Spokesperson of RSS, Ranjib Sharma said: “Actually this incident did not happen yesterday. Last Thursday, in the Biswanath Chariali weekly market, few local goons who usually take away goods from the sellers were forced to leave the place. To take revenge against that, the local goons came back on Sunday. They went to that particular Muslim man’s hotel and they asked for ‘chapati and meat’. The man thought they were Muslims and served them beef. The thugs turned violent and fed him pork meat as a consequence. There is no communal nature to the incident which has gone viral on social media.”

Member of Parliament from Tezpur Constituency, Ram Prasad Sharma, said: “This is very unfortunate and in a secular country like India, this should not happen. Hindutva doesn’t mean worshipping only Ganesh, Shiva or Durga, it includes Sikh, Muslim, Christian, along with all the tribal people. In my constituency, from the time I became the MP, this is the first time that such an incident has happened.”

Independent candidate from Guwahati and senior advocate Upamanyu Hazarika said: “In Assam, our ethnic identity is more important than our religious identity despite so many threats. This has never happened before but if someone is trying to do that, it’s unfortunate.”

Professor of Gauhati University, Noni Gopal Mahanta, said: “This is very unfortunate. I don't recall being witness to such an incident in Assam. The person might have done something but does not necessarily justify such actions of the mob. This is totally unthinkable in Assam. One may have certain issues regarding illegal migrants but they can’t force someone to eat something which is otherwise culturally not acceptable to them."

Senior Journalist from Assam, Haidar Hussian, said: “This kind of incidents did not happen earlier and it should not happen in the near future also. The responsible citizens of the state should take a stand against such incidents from happening. The rift in the Hindu-Muslim and other religions should be demolished by uniting against communal forces without hurting the sentiments of the people.”

Edited By: Admin
Published On: Apr 09, 2019