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Tripura: US watchdog on religious freedom flags attacks on Mosques, Muslims

The violence in Tripura took place during a rally taken out by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on October 26 in North Tripura

Thursday November 4, 2021 11:00 AM, ummid.com News Network

Tripura Facts

[A team of Supreme Court lawyers visited violence hit areas of Tripura and released a report at Press Club of India in New Delhi on Wednesday.]

New Delhi: The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in a message expressed concern over last week’s targeting of Muslims and burning of mosques in Tripura and urged the Union government to “stop violence against religious communities”.

The violence in Tripura took place during a rally taken out by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on October 26 in North Tripura in protest against the attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh. The High Court of Tripura has initiated a suo motu PIL.

A delegation of lawyers that visited Tripura while addressing the press Wednesday alleged that the mob that targeted the mosques and properties belonging to Muslims were led by senior leaders of the ruling BJP and VHP.

Also Read | Atrocities on Muslims in India have repercussions in Bangladesh: Hasina on attacks on Hindus

“The most striking thing that we came to know was that JCBs were used to target mosques”, Supreme Court Lawyer Ehtesham Hashmi told the media.

State police were in a denial mode and refuted all the reports of attacks on mosques. However a fact find team of Jamiat Ulema Hind which visited the violence hit areas of Tripura claimed at least 11 mosques were targeted and burnt, whereas properties belonging to Muslims worth lakhs of rupees were either destroyed or looted.


Commenting on the violence, USCIRF Chairperson Nadine Maenza while tagging a BBC report on Monday tweeted:

“USCIRF is concerned about ongoing violence in #Tripura against #Muslims, which some regard as retaliation for attacks against #Hindus in #Bangladesh last month. The Indian government must stop violence against religious communities.”

The USCIRF is an independent and bipartisan federal government entity created under the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act to monitor the universal right to freedom of religion or belief overseas.

A similar tweet by commission member Anurima Bhargava:

“USCIRF is particularly alarmed about reports from #Tripura of mobs desecrating mosques & torching properties of #Muslims. The Indian govt must bring those responsible for instigating & engaging in religious violence to justice & must prevent further attacks.”

Concerns over the anti-Muslim communal violence in Tripura were earlier also raised by senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

USCIRF had earlier raised similar concerns over the anti-Hindu violence in Bangladesh. The watchdog however at the same time acknowledged the efforts taken by the Sheikh Hasina government in tackling the situation and the swift action it took against the perpetrators.

In another development on the matter, Tripura Police on Wednesday booked an advocate under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly sharing fake information, on social media, on the recent violence in Panisagar.

The state police registered the case against Mukesh, a Delhi-based advocate for the People’s Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL), for allegedly “promoting enmity among two religious groups as well as provoking the people of different religious communities to cause breach of police”.

The case was filed under Section 13 of UAPA, besides various sections of the Indian Penal Code.

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