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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 35-36 August 26 & September 2, 2023

Nuh Violence and its Aftermath | Arup Kumar Sen

Friday 25 August 2023, by Arup Kumar Sen


On 31st July, 2023, Nuh, the Muslim-majority district of Haryana, witnessed communal violence. A recent field report published by the Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) on ‘Nuh Violence’ tried to unearth the roots of such violence. The Report observed: “In the days leading up to the tumultuous events in the town of Nuh, signs of unrest began to emerge. Videos featuring Hindutva sanghis like Monu Manesar and Bittu Bajrangi making hate speeches circulated on social media, provoking people.” It was further observed: “The chain of events began with a display of violence in Nuh, Haryana, on Monday, July 31st. This initial outbreak of violence by the Hindutva mob was a precursor to a disturbing escalation that would soon engulf Gurugram, Badshahpur, Sohna and Palwal areas of the state on the following Tuesday.”

The APCR Report highlighted ‘administrative negligence’, which contributed to the escalation of violence: “The administration failed to take timely and appropriate action despite being alerted about potential unrest, including hate speeches and provocative videos circulated by Monu Manesar and Bittu Bajrangi. These warnings were ignored…” It may be stated in this connection that Hindustan Times reported on August 2, 2023, that “the communal clashes are believed to have been triggered by three videos released on social media – two by Monu Manesar and another by fellow cow vigilante Bittu Bajrangi.” It also reminded us that Monu Manesar is an accused along with others in the abduction and killing of two cattle traders in Rajasthan’s Bhiwadi – Junaid and Nasir.

The alarming fact reported in the APCR Report is ‘police complicity’ in the Nuh Violence. To put it in the words of the Report: “Several testimonies pointed to police complicity in the violence. Videos and accounts suggested that police actively participated in the vandalism, destruction, and intimidation during the riots, undermining the trust citizens have in law enforcement…The arrests made by the police were one-sided, targeting Muslims and leaving out any potential involvement by Hindus. This skewed approach to arrests further deepened the divide between communities.” (See ‘A Fact-Finding Report on Nuh Violence’, Association for Protection of Civil Rights, New Delhi)

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