Several accounts of police brutality against protesters condemning comments about the Prophet Muhammad made by suspended BJP spokespersons have surfaced on social media. After protests that erupted in many parts of the country turned violent, police dropped their batons on those accused of rioting, in addition to firing bullets at protesters.
Two young Muslims were killed and several injured in Ranchi after police opened fire on protesters in an attempt to “control the crowd”.
Situations were spiraling out of control, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, where several videos surfaced on Twitter of cops brutally assaulting Muslim men, including minors.
Here are a few:
Muslims accused of “rioting” and detained in Uttar Pradesh have been brutally beaten by cops. The video was posted by Dr. Shalabh Mani Tripathi, BJP MP from Dwarika. In his Tweet, he wrote: “‘Return Gift’ to the Rebels”.
This video is from Ranchi, Jharkhand where a terrified minor, in a white kurta, finds himself caught between the police and the demonstrators. He is visibly frightened and cautiously approaches a policeman, who is holding a lathi, for help.
At first, the policeman seems to “understand the minor’s situation” but then he takes him to his colleagues who immediately start beating him. The terrified child miraculously flees by escaping a stone thrown in his way.
The following video shows a police officer firing unhesitatingly at protesters. Other police officers can also be heard encouraging him to shoot, saying: “Maro Maro Maro” (shoot at them) and “Sir, mariye na sir”, followed by insults hurled at the demonstrators.
Another video from Prayagaraj, Uttar Pradesh surfaced on Twitter, where Muslim men are seen running away, trying to escape beatings by UP police. The police are seen forcibly taking them away in police vehicles.
The state government and district administration of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir suspended internet services for more than 24 hours. Although police say the situation is “under control”, there is a growing sense of unrest.
Which led to protests and police brutality against the minority:
The protests erupted after Friday prayers where Muslims gathered to raise their voices against the “blasphemous” and insensitive remarks towards the Prophet Muhammad, made by two suspended BJP leaders – Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.
Initially, no action was taken against them and the BJP-led central government remained silent. However, the unrest started when Arab and Muslim majority countries started condemning the Indian government and decided to boycott Indian products.
The Indian government began to undo the damage by suspending the two leaders and then issuing a comprehensive statement distancing itself from “fringe elements”. However, with worldwide condemnation, the people of India felt that a mere suspension was not enough and demanded the immediate arrest of Sharma and Jindal.
The call for protests started to gather momentum in different states of India and on June 10, after Friday prayers, many states including West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi have recorded demonstrations by members of the Muslim community which have reportedly turned violent. after confronting the police.