No Respite from Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes in 2024 

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The India Observer, TIO: It is not even two months in 2024; there are numbers of anti – Muslim hate crimes reported from different parts of the country. The Centre for Study of Society and Secularism Mumbai has come out with a report on the communal situation in India, since January 2024. The center has listed the hate crimes against Muslims and categorized them as communal riots, hate speeches, Hindu vigilantes, state funding of Hindu religious activities, demolition drives, etc.

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 Communal riots – Five communal riots have taken place in January 2024. They are directly related to the Pran Pratisthan event held in Ayodhya on January 22. Out of the five communal riots, two were reported in Mumbai, one in Nagpur, one in Vadodara, and one in Shajapur in Madhya Pradesh. All these riots took place in the BJP-ruled states.

The communal riots in Mira Road, Mumbai had origin in local tension where scuffle gave way to stone pelting resulting in Municipal Corporation stepping in to use bulldozers. The Corporation bulldozers demolish about 15 structures in the Muslim-dominated area on Mira Road. In the incident, more than nine persons were injured.

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The second incident took place in Thane, near Mumbai. Here stones were pelted by miscreants at a vehicle rally taken out on the occasion of Ram temple consecration in Ayodhya.  A clash broke out between members of two communities and several people were injured in the ensuing clashes.

The communal riot in Nagpur took place in the Garib Nawaz Nagar locality where an altercation between members of two communities took place to celebrate the consecration event in Ayodhya. This led to a scuffle between two communities in which 12 persons were injured.

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In Bhoj, Vadodara communal riot took place on January 22 after stones were allegedly pelted on a procession, Shobha Yatra, to celebrate the idol consecration in the Ram temple at Ayodhya.

 In Shajapur, Madhya Pradesh communal riot took place on January 8, when participants of a religious procession were allegedly pelted with stones leading to clashes where several persons were injured.

Hate Speeches: According to the CSS report, there were seven instances of hate speeches reported in January. These speeches broadly called for the demolition of mosques made baseless allegations of love jihad, boycott of halal certification meat, use of bulldozers against Muslims, and called for stricter action against Muslims. The hate speeches were made by BJP leaders, MLA T Raja and MLA Nitesh Rane in Solapur and Mumbai in Maharashtra, MLA Geeta Jain in Mumbai, and Anantkumar Hegde, BJP Member of Parliament and BJP leader KS Eshwarappa from Karnataka.

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Government funding Hindu Religious symbols: The government in the BJP-ruled states has shown its largesse to spend public funds on the promotion of heritage associated with Hindu gods and symbols. Some of the examples include the curating of a wax museum in Ayodhya on the theme of Ramayana. In Chhattisgarh ‘Shri Ramlala Darshan (Ayodhya Dham)’ scheme has been launched and in Puri, the Odisha Parikrama project has got started through public money.

 The Municipal Corporation of Ayodhya allotted 2.5 acres for setting up the “Ramayana Wax Museum” in a 7-crore project floated by the UP government. There will be about 100 life-size wax statues of all the important characters from Ramayana. The first phase will depict 30-35 scenes from Ram Katha, including Sita’s Swayamvar, Vanvaas, and Lanka Dahan.

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 In Chhattisgarh, the state government has announced that it will roll out the ‘Shri Ramlala Darshan (Ayodhya Dham)’ scheme, under which 20,000 people from the state will be taken to Ayodhya in UP every year, free of cost, for a visit to the newly constructed Ram Temple.

 In Odisha, the government is set to inaugurate an ambitious “Shree Mandira Parikrama” project of Rs 800 crore. This heritage corridor is planned around Puri’s renowned Jagannath Temple which is aimed at improving infrastructure for visiting devotees. The Parikrama project includes a 75-metre corridor surrounding the Jagannath temple complex, which will provide pilgrims with a “visual connection” with the temple. The Odisha government has planned to mobilize around 10,000 people daily for a month to visit the Parikrama Project.

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Public Holiday- Ten BJP-ruled states- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Tripura and AAP-ruled Delhi, declared a complete holiday or half-day holiday on January 22 to celebrate the Pran Pratisthan ceremony in Ayodhya. This implied that schools, colleges, and government offices amongst other state establishments remained closed on that day. Some of these state governments also prohibited the sale of non-vegetarian food items, meat, and alcohol on that day.

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Hindu Vigilante activity- There was a significant spurt in Hindu vigilante during January 2024.  In Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district, there was an alleged incident of removing a green flag from a mosque and replacing it with a saffron flag on January 23.  In a similar incident, eleven miscreants hoisted saffron flags atop a mosque in the Tajganj area of Agra district during a Shobha Yatra on January 22.

Demolition of Muslim property: It is seen that Hindu leaders were at the forefront of inciting local tensions into a big communal riot leading to bulldozers stepping in to demolish Muslim homes using the pretext of illegal encroachments. Apart from the Mira Road demolition in Mumbai, there was a report of demands for the demolitions of Muslim properties in Panvel, where communal tension prevailed on January 22.

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On February 8, 2024, violent clashes erupted in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, following the court order to demolish an unauthorized madrasa and a mosque situated in the predominantly Muslim-inhabited area. The municipal authorities demolished the Muslim religious structure claiming they were illegal construction. The consequent clash between the residents and the police claimed five lives and left over 100 injured.

Reclaiming Muslim Sites- An alarming trend of reclaiming Muslim places of worship has been seen after the Pran Pratisthan event. Soon after the event in Ayodhya, a Varanasi district Court ordered allowing puja inside the Gyanvapi mosque in its “Vyas Tehkana.” Thereafter, the Shahi Idgah case flared up in Mathura. The place is now peddled as Krishna’s birthplace and is being reclaimed by the Muslims in a bid to convert it into Krishna Janamsthan. In the same vein mentioned may be made about Maharashtra, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced to “liberate” Haji Malang Dargah in Mumbai and convert it into a Hindu site.

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In this election year, more such incidents are waiting to happen. It is seen that the BJP gains significantly from such religious polarization. What is apparent that Muslims may have no respite from hate crimes in 2024.

Also Read more from this Author: Ram Temple Consecration Ceremony Scares Indian Muslims

Edited By Adam Rizvi

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Syed Ali Mujtaba

Syed Ali Mujtaba

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a Sr.Journalist, Author based in Chennai, India. Writes frequently for the USA based News Portal, TheIndiaObserver. He is author of the book Soundings on South Asia, New Dawn Press (2005). He can be reached at or TIO, at

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