LONDON: Hindu fanatics in north Indian state Uttarakhand have launched a violent campaign against Muslims.
Muslims in an area called Purola are being forced to evict their businesses and in some other places they have been asked to leave their homes.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) organization, affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is behind the campaign, which it says is launched by “local residents.”
Posters have appeared in the area asking Muslims to leave the Purola market.
“We are living in constant fear and cannot return to Purola in such an atmosphere. If they want us to leave the hills, authorities should compensate us for the property owned by us,” said a garment shop owner.
The market has about 700 shops and of these 30-40 are run by the Muslims.
“These posters were put up by local residents who want people from a particular community to leave the town to ensure peace and communal harmony. They came here on the pretext of doing business but are targeting girls and women from our community,” a VHP leader said.
The campaign uses the stock-in-trade Hindutva falsehoods and pretexts, which have now become familiar around the world, thanks to the media coverage Hindu nationalism has received in recent years.
The VHP and its affiliates work closely with the police and local administration to organize violence. State support ensures their “success” in crimes big and small.
The VHP also has branches in other countries where Hindu migrant populations exist.
It collects funds from Hindus in wealthy countries in the name of “culture” and “religion” and sends them to violent extremist groups in India.
It has a long history of leading anti-Muslim violence and played a key role in the razing of the historic Babri Masjid in 1992 in the town of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh state.