Fact Sheet on Islamophobia, hate speech, hate crimes, discrimination, stigmatization and intolerance faced by Muslims in India

Fact Sheet on Islamophobia, hate speech, hate crimes, discrimination, stigmatization and intolerance faced by Muslims in India

The process of demobilization of Muslims in India vigorously started with the arrival of RSS-driven Modi-led BJP government in 2014. Since then, steady, systematic and deliberate conversion of India into Hindu majoritarian state has been on its way. Implementation of anti-Muslim policies and actions was accelerated soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to power for second term with enhanced parliamentary majority in 2019 elections. Indian Muslims have faced ongoing transformation of India into a Hindu Rashtra by bearing the brunt in many forms including hate speech, hate crimes, discrimination, stigmatization, xenophobia and Islamophobia. They have endured vilification and lynchings over cow trade and alleged cow slaughter, ‘love jihad,’ criminalization of triple talaq, violence on the pretext of alleged atrocities of past Muslim rulers; revocation of Article 370 from the only Muslim majority state in India and continued lockdown of eight million Kashmiris by 900,000 troops since August 2019, unjust handing over of the historic Babri Masjid to Hindu parties by a pliant judiciary in November 2019, and lately brutal state suppression of protestors against the contentious Citizenship related policies and actions, including a pogrom in Delhi in February 2020.

2.         The Covid-19 pandemic proved as a catalyst for further rise in hatred and prejudice against Muslims in India. The disease became a handy weapon to build a smokescreen against the inherent desire of BJP/RSS to render Muslims as second class citizens. Indian Muslims are not only facing the worst situation during the pandemic but would continue to remain target of an extremist and racist ideology aimed at establishing a Hindu Rashtra.

3.         Some illustrations of the hate speech, hate crimes, discrimination, stigmatization, xenophobia and Islamophobia faced by Muslims in India are compiled in the table below. Most of these incidents and statements of RSS/BJP leaders depict several forms of egregious violations of human rights.

ABJP’s discrimination and hate toward Muslims has been expressed profoundly in its policies and actions, and by its leaders.  
1BJP extended traditional under-representation of Muslims in army, police and bureaucracy to assemblies and has politically marginalized Muslims. Despite winning majority in 2014 and 2019 general elections, BJP did not have even single member in Lok Sabha (lower House of Parliament) from the Muslim community.[1]  
2Then BJP’s president, Amit Shah who has called Muslim migrants as “termites,” serves as Home Minister in PM Modi’s current term. He is the second most powerful man in the BJP and also referred as “invisible Prime Minister.”[2]   While addressing an election rally on April 11, 2019 in West Bengal, he had said, “Infiltrators are like termites in the soil of Bengal.” Then referring to migrants from neighboring Muslim-majority Bangladesh, he stated, “A Bharatiya Janata Party government will pick up infiltrators one by one and throw them into the Bay of Bengal.”   On September 22, 2018, while addressing a public meeting at Gangapur in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan, Amit Shah had said that Bangladeshi migrants were like termites, and each one of them would be struck off the electoral roll. He stated, “BJP sarkaar ek-ek ghuspaithiye ko chun-chun kar matdatasuchi se hataneka kaam karegi (The BJP government will pick out each and every infiltrator and remove the name from the voters’ list).   He had also made similar remarks on September 23, 2018 in Delhi.    Home Minister Amit Shah has repeatedly referred to migrants as “infiltrators” and “termites,” who according to him are either Bangladeshi Muslims or Rohingya Muslims. Troubled that Hindus were also excluded in the final list of National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on 31 August 2019 in Assam, he and other Hindu leaders including RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat called for enacting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 on urgent basis to protect the Hindus left out of the NRC.  
3“There’s no such thing as equal rights…they are not in an equal category,” BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy told host Isbol Yeung, who had asked him whether Muslims deserved equal rights in the context of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, in an interview to VICE’s Showtime Programme on April 1, 2020. He was asked this after he had said that “Article 14 guarantees equality of equals,” and “all people are not equal.”[3]  
4Muslims were termed “green virus” by the saffron-clad BJP Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath on April 9, 2019 when he was addressing an election rally in Meerut.   Referring to Muslim voters being courted by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, he stated, “You might have seen Rahul Gandhi’s nomination rally at one of the seats in Kerala, there was only greenery visible there. Congress flag was nowhere to be seen. Congress is suffering from this green virus, it has got infected by it.”[4]  
5“The party will bring machines from China to shave 10-12 thousand Muslims and later force them to adopt Hindu religion,” declared a BJP Leader Ranjeet Bahadur Srivastava, while addressing a crowd at Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh on April 18, 2019 on the treatment to be meted out to Muslims after the Lok Sabha elections of 2019.[5]
BCow vigilantism and mob lynchings of Indian Muslims  
1Members of BJP, since coming to power at the national level in 2014, have increasingly used communal rhetoric that has spurred a violent vigilante campaign against beef consumption and those deemed linked to it.   Between May 2015 and December 2018, at least 44 people—36 of them Muslims—were killed across 12 Indian states. Over that same period, around 280 people were injured in over 100 different incidents across 20 states. —Human Rights Watch Report of February 2019: Violent Cow Protection in India,   Vigilante Groups Attack Minorities.[6]  
2From 2010-2017, 86% of those killed in cow related mob lynchings – 25 of 29 persons in 63 incidents – were Muslim. 97% of these attacks were reported after PM Modi came to power in May 2014, and about half the cases – 32 of 63 – were from states governed by BJP when the attacks were reported. This was stated by Indiaspend in its analysis of violence recorded until June 25, 2017.[7] Indiaspend data further revealed that above 50% of the 63 incidents were result of rumors.  
3Illustrations of some notorious cases of mob lynchings in cow related violence during the Modi rule, where authorities sided with the perpetrators, include[8]:   Pehlu Khan, Rajasthan A mob of around 200 in Alwar district in Rajasthan accused Pehlu Khan, 55, a dairy farmer, of smuggling cows and severely beat him on April 1, 2018. He along with his two sons Irshad and Arif, who were also attacked, was returning to his village in Nuh district in Haryana from a cattle fair in Jaipur, Rajasthan, where they had purchased cows and calves. Their two fellow villagers, Azmat and Rafiq were also beaten up. Pehlu Khan died two days later in a private hospital where he was brought by the police. He named six men as attackers in his “dying declaration.” Instead of filing a case against the attackers, police first filed FIRs against all five victims including Khan and his sons under the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995 for allegedly smuggling cows. The police alleged that Khan and his associates did not have documents permitting them to transport the animals across state lines, disregarding that the mob had torn up the purchase receipts issued by Jaipur’s municipal corporation. In September, 2018, the Crime Investigation Department of the Rajasthan police filed an investigation report discarding Khan’s dying declaration and exonerating all six accused—three of whom were allegedly linked with Hindu militant organizations—saying there was no evidence they were present at the time of the attack. The investigation named nine other accused—two of them under age 18 (Vipin Yadav, Ravindra Kumar, Dayanand, Kaluram, Yogesh, Neeraj, Pavan, Bhim Singh and Deepak). In August 2019, a local court in Alwar acquitted six of these nine accused, citing a lack of evidence. After passage of two years since the lynching, on March 13, 2020, two accused minors have now been sentenced to 3 years in special home or safe home by Alwar’s Juvenile Justice Board.[9]   Noman, Himachal Pradesh Noman, 20, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, was beaten to death at Sarahan in Himachal Pradesh on October 14, 2015, over suspicions that he was smuggling cows. As per autopsy report, Noman died of gross injuries leading to “shock and pulmonary and brain edema”—brain swelling caused by excess fluid. The attackers also beat up four other occupants of the truck they were using to ferry cattle. Police later arrested all four, booking them under laws banning cow slaughter and preventing cruelty to animals. As a result of protests, two months after the incident, police registered a case of murder and filed the charge-sheet. Twelve people were arrested, and all released on bail, raising safety concerns for Noman’s associates. The counter-case for cow smuggling against them frightened them and they showed unwillingness to testify against their attackers.[10]   Anas, Arif, and Nazim, Uttar Pradesh Anas Qureshi, 17, Arif Qureshi, 26, and Nazim, 15, were beaten to death in Kaimrala village of Dadri town on August 2, 2015. The attackers also set their truck on fire after they found two buffaloes in it. Earlier that day, Arif, a cattle trader, went with his cousin Anas to buy buffaloes in Kaimrala village. He had asked Nazim to drive a truck to the seller’s house to help them transport the buffaloes. Instead of filing a case of murder against the attackers, the police instead filed a case of trespass, theft, and attempted murder against unknown persons in an effort to blame the victims. It was only six days later, after allegedly taking a bribe, that the police filed an FIR against the attackers, naming three men for rioting, unlawful assembly, and culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The police did not add murder to the charges or explain the reason for the delay in filing the FIR. Family members wrote several letters to senior police and government officials in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, requesting a proper investigation into the case and for protection to the families of the victims albeit without any response.[11]  
4282 incidents of religion-based hate crimes were reported from 2009-2019 across India by the Hate Crime Watch database. In September 2019, the initiative was pulled down by FactChecker, a website that publishes fact-checks, ostensibly under pressure from BJP/RSS dispensation. In addition, other two databases, one tracking cow related violence and another on violence emanating from child-lifting rumors were also pulled down. Both FactChecker and IndiaSpend are run by the Spending and Policy Research Foundation based in India. In 2017, the Hindustan Times had also shut down its Hate Tracker project after change in the management.[12]  
5Lynch mobs often take overtly Hindu nationalist tones. In June 2019, in Jharkhand, a mob attacked a Muslim, Tabriz Ansari forcing him to chant “Jai Shri Ram (Hail Lord Ram)” as they beat him to death. Police often arrest those attacked for cow slaughter or conversion activities rather than the perpetrators.[13]  
6Indian Supreme Court in 2018 had urged central and state governments to combat lynchings with stricter laws. When in July 2019, the Center and 10 states had failed to comply, Home Minister Amit Shah called existing laws sufficient and denied that lynchings had increased. In the meantime, the Indian Home Ministry instructed the National Crime Records Bureau to omit lynchings from the 2019 crime data report.[14]  
CChanging of Muslim names of roads, railway stations and cities  
1In PM Modi’s first term, Hindu nationalist politicians from BJP renamed Indian towns, streets, airports and train stations, swapping names that reflect Muslim heritage for Hindu centric ones. India previously did change names of a few cities. Like Bombay became Mumbai; Madras became Chennai; Calcutta, Kolkata; Bangalore, Bengaluru. These changes were a rejection of Anglicized names used during British colonial rule. However, the most recent wave of name changes since BJP’s coming to power in 2014, is about erasing Muslim ones.[15] ­
2On October 13, 2018, BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, on the proposal of the state’s Hindu monk Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath changed the name of Allahabad city to Prayagraj – a word that references the Hindu pilgrimage site in the city.[16]  
3Within the first year or so of his coming to power in 2017, Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, living up to his reputation as a Hindutva hawk also renamed the Mughal Sarai railway junction, familiar to countless travelers, after a person who is little known outside the Hindutva camp — Deen Dayal Upadhyay. He also changed the names of other places as well. Faizabad is now Ayodhya, and Muzaffarnagar, is now Laxmi Nagar on the suggestion of BJP member of legislature Sangeet Som, who had called the Taj Mahal a “blot” on Indian culture.[17]
DGhettoization of Muslim communities  
1Rising communal hatred by Hindus against Muslims led to the ghettoization of Muslims in different cities across India. This is evidential of the fact that Muslims are not treated equal to other communities, particularly Hindus. In Muslim ghettos, it also becomes easy for Hindu fascists to target and attack Muslims without collateral damage to Hindus.[18]  
2Life is miserable for Muslims in Ghettos. Same is not the case with other communities living in urban areas. India has the third largest population of Muslims in the world. Despite being the largest minority of over 200 million in the country, Muslims are not only forced to live in separate zones but their areas remain devoid of civic facilities and they are unable to interact with other communities in cities. In Juhapura, a Muslim ghetto in Ahmedabad houses 50% of the Muslim population of the city. Location of the Juhaura is away from the main city center. In such areas Muslim charities offer help in the times of difficulties. However, these areas are stigmatized and demonized.[19]  
E‘Love Jihad’  
1Muslims have been targeted violently by Hindu mobs allegedly for indulging in “Love Jihad.” It is also called Romeo Jihad, and is an alleged activity under which young Muslim boys and men are accused of targeting young girls belonging to non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam by feigning love. No investigations over several years have proved such an allegation.[20]  
222-year-old Saif Ali was lynched in Bikaner in Rajasthan by a mob in an alleged ‘love jihad’ case in May 2018. He was beaten up ruthlessly by three persons and dumped at a spot on the outskirts of the city.[21]  
3Civil society organizations and the Congress, the largest opposition party in India have accused several times that mob lynchings and “love jihad” cases have risen under Modi rule.[22]
F‘Ghar Wapsi’ scheme pursued by the Sangh Parivar re-converts Muslims and other minorities who are believed to have converted from Hinduism in the past. Hindu extremist parties of the Parivar also demand a law, prohibiting conversion of Hindus to any other religion.
1“These non-Hindus are not foreigners but ex-Hindus; they are Indians but their faiths will have to be Indianised,” Sudarshan said in Nagpur to RSS activists on March 10, 2000, the day he then became RSS chief.[23]  
2“25,000 Muslims and Christians were reconverted in 2018,” adding that figures for 2019 were yet to be compiled, claimed Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)’s secretary general Milind Parande on October 26, 2019.[24]  
GHinduization of Indian occupied Kashmir, the only Muslim-majority state  
1Article 370 was illegally removed by the current BJP government in August 2019 to scrap semi-autonomous status of the only Muslim majority state, i.e. Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.[25]  
2Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir was reorganized into two Union Territories, separating Ladakh, a region with almost same population of Buddhists and Muslims, primarily reducing the number of Muslims in the Jammu and Kashmir region[26]  
3BJP government is restoring 1000 religious sites of Hindus in the Kashmir Valley.[27]  
4Concrete steps have been initiated for settlement of Hindus in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir to bring demographic change in the Kashmir Valley. These include, establishment of gated colonies for retired Indian soldiers, allotment of approximately 6000 acres of land to Hindu businessmen, resettlement of Hindu Pandits and changes to domicile law allowing different categories of mainland Indians to be eligible for permanent residence and jobs in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir.[28]
HCriminalization of triple talaq was done to punish Muslim men and win votes of Muslim women  
1The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 was one of the first legislations passed by Modi-led BJP government after returning to power with enhanced majority in 2019 elections. Passage of the bill not only reflected the BJP/RSS’s deep-rooted enmity against Muslims by targeting their family laws but also gave a message to their Hindu supporters that they have come back to hit Muslims hard this time. The opinion is divided on the legislation since many Muslims also do not believe in the practice of triple talaq. The measure is particularly controversial because it criminalizes the act and police has been empowered to put Muslim men in jails merely on a complaint without proper inquiry.[29]  
2To put it mildly, criminalizing the triple talaq has been termed as “overkill.”[30]  
IHanding over of the historic Babri Masjid to Hindu parties, who had demolished the mosque in 1992, through a Hindu faith-biased ruling by India’s apex court  
1On November 9, 2019, the 5-member Constitution bench headed by then Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi handed over the historic Babri Masjid site to Hindu parties who were involved in demolition of the mosque in 1992. In a week or so, Chief Justice Gogoi retired on November 17, 2019. Just after 3 months from his retirement, he was appointed by the President of India (a member of BJP) as nominated member of Rajya Sabha in March 2020.   The 1045-page unanimous verdict in the case is not only replete with contradictions but also reflected the mjoritarian political reality and preponderance of Hindu faith over law.   The apex Court accepted that: i) the Masjid was constructed on the vacant land in 1528; ii) Muslims worshiped there from 1857 till 1949; iii) the mosque was desecrated on the night of December 22/23, 1949 by installing Hindu idols and Muslims were illegally ousted “through an act which was calculated to deprive them of their place f worship;” and iv) the planned destruction of the structure on December 6, 1992 was also illegal and against the orders of the Supreme Court.   However, the justices employed strange logic that Muslim side did not produce documentary evidence to show they offered Namaz and were in “exclusive position” of the mosque from 1528-1857, but on “balance of probabilities, the evidence in respect of the possessory claim of the Hindus to the composite whole of the disputed property stands on better footing than the evidence adduced by the Muslims.” On this logic, inter alia, the apex court decided that the whole disputed site of 2.77 acres, where the Babri Masjid stood for over 470 years, is to be utilized for construction of Ram Mandir of Hindus.[31]             
2The National Alliance of People’s Movements of India condemned the verdict in the matter of Ayodhya. The Alliance said that the judgment, instead of holding accountable before law all those who criminally demolished the 450 year old Babri Masjid rewarded the violators. The alliance also stated that the judgment legitimizes majoritarianism and mobocracy and strikes at the very secular fabric of Indian Constitution.[32]  
3Besides there are criminal cases against BJP/RSS leaders for demolishing the historic Babri Masjid in 1992, the RSS Chief Sudarshan on March 19, 2000 had claimed that the demolition of the Babri Masjid, “has made Hindus all over the world proud.”[33]  
4Several Indian and international law experts have opined that the Indian Supreme Court under the former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi decided the matter of Babri Masjid on the basis of majoritarian faith rather on principles of law and justice.[34]  
JAnti-Muslim citizenship policies: CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act 2019)-NPR (National Population Register) and NRC (National Register of Citizens)  
1The Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 or CAA passed by Indian parliament in December 2019 is inherently discriminatory against Muslims. The law fast-tracks nationality of only non-Muslim immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The CAA will allow Hindus and other non-Muslims who were unable to prove their citizenship status in Assam – and thus were left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC)– to maintain their Indian citizenship. In addition, it will apply to all religious communities who might be left out in the proposed nationwide NRC. It will not, however, protect Muslims left off the registry.[35]  
2The Indian government and BJP leaders have denied linkage of CAA, NPR and NRC. However, the CAA, coupled with a nationwide citizenship verification process through NPR and a proposed countrywide NRC, aimed at identifying “illegal migrants,” has led to fears that millions of Indian Muslims, including many families who have lived in the country for generations, could be stripped of their citizenship rights and disenfranchised.[36]  
3The Citizenship amendment and the verification process are contrary to the basic principles of secularism and equality enshrined in the Indian Constitution. The CAA also violates India’s international obligations. The law is against provisions of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, The 1992 Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.[37]  
4BJP government has brutally suppressed anti-CAA protests in the country. Rabid monk Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh pledged to “revenge” against anti-CAA protestors. While referring to peaceful Muslim women protestors at iconic Shaheen Bagh in Delhi, he said that they should be fed with “bullets not Biryani.”   In December 2019, close to 25 persons died in attacks against protesters in Uttar Pradesh alone. Police action specifically targeted Muslims.[38]  
5Using cover of the Covid-19 pandemic, all sites of the continued 24/7 sit-ins across India including the Shaheen Bagh against the contentious citizenship related measures were cleared by police in March 2020.[39]  
6Amid nationwide lockdown, pregnant Safoora Zargar, 27-year-old sociology student at the Jamia Milia Islamia University Delhi was picked up by Delhi police from her home in south-east Delhi on April 10, 2020. When police came to her house, she was taking a nap. She had married 19 months ago, and Ms Zargar had discovered a few weeks ago that she was pregnant. After initial questioning, she was arrested for her involvement in anti-CAA protests. She has been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) – a draconian law that makes it nearly impossible for the accused to get bail. For over a month now, she is still held in Delhi’s overcrowded Tihar jail.[40]   Besides Ms Zargar, police have arrested Meeran Haider, a research scholar and member of the Jamia Coordination Committee, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, president of the Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association, Gulfisha, an MBA student, and Ishrat Jahan, a former municipal councillor, for participating in anti-CAA protests.[41] Mrs. Zargar, now four months pregnant, has emerged as the face of state repression against students and activists.[42]
KDelhi pogrom against Muslims in February 2020  
1Likein Gujarat pogrom of 2002 when PM Modi was Chief Minister of the state, thousands of Muslims were killed and many more injured at the hands of Hindu goons where the police either remained passive or aided and abetted the killings, the similar fate was netted out to Muslims of Northeast Delhi in February 2020.[43]   The violence was incited by provocative statements of BJP leaders not only preceding to the eruption of violence but also during the election campaign for Delhi state polls of February 2020. They called on their supporters to “shoot the traitors” referring to Muslims who were protesting against the contentious citizenship related policies of the BJP government.[44]   The carnage of Muslims in Northeast Delhi continued actively for at least four days starting 24 February 2020 but it lasted till 29 February 2020. It also coincided with President Trump’s 36-hours official tour to India including maximum stay in Delhi.   On February 23, 2020, BJP leader Kapil Mishra gave “ultimatum” to the police to remove anti-CAA protests blocking roads in the area or pro-CAA protesters will remove them. Within hours of Mishra’s speech, clashes broke out between anti- and pro-CAA demonstrators in Karawal Nagar, Maujpur Chowk, Babarpur and Chand Bagh. The following afternoon, violent clashes broke out in several areas of Northeast Delhi. Clashes were marked by arson, vandalism of property, stone pelting and burning of places of worship.[45]   As per official figures given by Home Minister Amit Shah in the Parliament, at least 53 persons were killed, 526 injured, shops of 371 were set ablaze and houses of 142 were burnt.[46]  
2According to independent reports, the figures are much higher and most of the killed and affected were Muslims. Saffron flags were flying on businesses and homes of Hindus for Hindutva goons to avoid them. The violence against particular community, i.e. Muslims with reported support of state cannot be called as communal violence but pogrom against Muslims.[47]  
3In addition to daily press reports of that time and several local civil society organizations, Human Rights Watch Report[48] titled “Shoot the traitors,” and USCIRF’s Annual Report 2020[49], released on 18 and 28 April 2020 respectively have confirmed that Delhi police, operating under Home Minister Amit Shah failed to halt the attacks and even directly participated in the violence against Muslims.  
4The Delhi Minorities Commission in its assessment report of events in northeast Delhi during February 2020 concluded that the violence was “one-sided, well-planned” and involved support from locals with maximum damage being done to shops and houses belonging to the minority community, i.e. Muslims. The report, however, acknowledged that at Yamuna Vihar shops and houses belonging to both communities, Hindus and Muslims were affected.   The report also stated that some 1500-2000 persons with arms from outside Delhi were brought, and many of them stayed in at least two Schools to wreck havoc on Muslims.[50]  
5“An Account of Fear & Impunity: Preliminary Fact-Finding Report on Community-Targeted Violence in Northeast Delhi, February 2020” by Youth for Human Rights Documentation finds that: i) communal propaganda had led to violent consequences; ii) organized and targeted violence was perpetrated against Muslims; iii) violent threat to Muslim religious identity exists; iv) the events in February 2020 were result of hate crimes; v) there was no accountability during the days of unhindered attacks for four days; vi) a drain running across most of the affected areas was used to dump bodies; vii) perpetrators acted with impunity; viii) uncertainty prevailed over disappearances; ix) violence was gendered; x) Delhi police had played partisan role; xi) arbitrary arrests and detentions were made; xii) criminal justice system was complicit; xiii) government was inactive in relief and rescue work; xiv) medical institutions of the area displayed negligence; xv) the events led to displacement and further ghettoization of Muslims; and xvi) the area’s Muslim community remains in fear, angst and trauma.[51]  
6Testimonies from the worst affected regions in “An Account of Fear & Impunity: Preliminary Fact-Finding Report on Community-Targeted Violence in Northeast Delhi, February 2020” from Youth for Human Rights Documentation:[52]    
7“Fact-Finding Report from the violence affected areas in Northeast Delhi” by National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO) concluded that violence in Delhi was not a “riot” but a targeted anti-Muslim brutality with collusion of police.[53] The report also makes the following observations: Police or state security forces in general, were at all places unable to curb the violence, even when they had control of the region;With exception in one area (Garhi Mandu), locals testified the role of external forces in instigating the violence; The role of local population in the violence cannot be undermined or negated;The administration lacked organization to curb menaces emanating in the aftermath of the violence; and The plight of migrant workers from the Muslim community who lived in the area was overlooked.  
8Fourteen Mosques and a Muslim Shrine were burnt by Hindutva vigilantes during the three-day pogrom in February 2020 against Muslims in Northeast Delhi. Names of the mosques and the Dargah have been documented along with the photos by Anjali Modi of Scroll.in.[54]  
9Delhi police under Home Minister Amit Shah has/continues to arrest a large number of Muslims from Northeast Delhi amidst the lockdown aimed at containing the Covid-19 pandemic. They are being booked for inciting violence in Delhi in February 2020.[55] Mr. Akhtar whose friend died during the carnage was picked up and then arrested on March 30, 2020. 57-year old Haji Hashim Ali, who is a tailor in Shiv Vihar was arrested on April 4, 2020. His house was burnt during the pogrom. Salman, from Seelampur, who was not home, so his father was picked up on April 3, 2020. As per his brother Arman, Salman is also missing since then. Reports claim that on daily 5-6 arrests are being made. The ground is being prepared that the violence in Delhi was “pre-planned” by Muslims, as claimed by Home Minister Amit Shah in the Parliament on March 11, 2020.[56]  
10Incumbent Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission, Zafarul Islam, who played active role in calling out the partisan role of Delhi police during the Delhi pogrom 2020 and later documenting the killings of Muslims and damages to their properties and places of worship, has been now booked in early May 2020 on frivolous charges of expressing thanks to Kuwait, which raised voice against rising Islamophobia in India.[57]  
L  Blaming of Muslims for spread of Covid-19 disease in India and resultant targeting of Muslims  
1Official briefings of the Government of India projected Tablighis/Muslims as “super-spreaders” for Coronavirus despite World Health Organization’s instructions against religious profiling of Covid-19 patients. Dedicated figures for Covid-19 cases related to Tablighi Jamaat were given not only by the central government but also several state governments. No such details about any other religion, event or group were mentioned.[58]  
2Usual anti-Muslim narrative returned to TV including sensationalist headlines and hashtags like #CoronaJehad, #Tableeghistan, #Tableegh-Pak conspiracy etc.[59]  
3Incendiary messaging propagated that Muslims were responsible for spread of Coronavirus. Fake videos and WhatsApp messages were circulated, showing Muslims violating social distancing norms and Covid-19 positive Tablighis spitting on others to spread the disease.[60]  
4Tablighi Jamaat is “the enemy of humanity,” said Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath in a statement on April 3, 2020.[61] The same day he invoked stringent National Security Act (NSA) against 6 Tablighi patients who had allegedly “misbehaved” with medical staff in MMG District Hospital in Lucknow.     
5In a blatant call for genocide of Muslims, the Star of Mysore, an evening daily in Karnataka, in its editorial of April 6, 2020 referred to Muslims as “bad” and “rotten apples” and called for getting “rid” of them.[62]  
622-year old Mahboob was lynched by his Hindu villagers in Bawana, Northeast Delhi on April 6, 2020. He had attended Tablighi Ijtima in Bhopal and was dropped to his house by police after he tested negative for Covid-19.[63]  
7A Muslim man, Muhammad Dilshad, hanged himself on April 5, 2020 in Una, Himachal Pradesh after he was socially boycotted for coming in contact with Tablighis. He had also tested negative of Coronavirus.[64]  
8In Hoshiarpur, Indian state of Punjab, Muslim families (Gujjars) fled their village after harassment on April 5-6, 2020. To save them, they hid in the swan riverbed for several days without food. They have been denied to sell milk despite carrying permit.[65]  
9Muslim vegetable and fruit venders have been boycotted in several states, particularly in the UP, Bihar, Karnataka and Delhi.[66] In Bihar, Bajrang Dal (a youth wing of militant Hindu organization, VHP) members unfurled saffron flags on vegetable, fruit and ration shops of Hindus and asked Hindus to buy stuff only from the stores which are owned by Hindus.[67]   In April 2020, Suresh Tiwari, a BJP MLA from UP asked Hindus in his constituency Barhaj Nagar Palika in Deoria district not to buy eatables from Muslim vendors, and advised Hindu venders to display their saffron identity on their stalls/shops. He remains defiant of what he said despite criticism.[68] His video went viral in which he said, “Keep one thing in mind, I am telling everyone openly, no one should purchase vegetables from Muslims.”   A poster prohibiting the entry of Muslim traders in a village in BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh’s Indore district appeared on May 3, 2020. The poster read “Muslim vyapariyonkagaonmeinpraveshnishedhhai (Muslim traders are not allowed in the village).”[69]  
10It was reported on April 8, 2020 that separate wards were set up for Muslims and Hindus in Ahmedabad hospitals in Gujarat, PM Modi’s home state (US Commission on International Religious Freedom also highlighted this. State authorities have denied).[70]  
11Overall discrimination against Muslims in healthcare system has been on rise. A Muslim diabetic patients died at a quarantine facility in Northeast Delhi in April 22, 2020 allegedly due to non-provision of diabetic medicines and proper food. A pregnant Muslim woman was refused admission in a government hospital in Rajasthan. She delivered in ambulance and her child could not survive. A cancer hospital in Meerut, UP put out an advert that Muslim patients would only be treated if they come to the facility with Covid-19 negative report.[71]  
12Kanpur Police in Uttar Pradesh announced a bounty hunt of INR 10,000 for Tablighi Jamaat members who had participated in Delhi event of the Jamaat and are still believed to be hiding (April 20, 2020).[72]  
13Police ordered Mosque-Imams in majority Hindu areas in Uttar Pradesh and Northeast Delhi not to give a religious call for prayers (Azaan) in loudspeakers during the month of Ramadan.[73] Delhi police[74] later clarified that the cops were acting on their own but no such explanation came from BJP government in UP.  
M  Recent conversions of Muslims from mirasi or Doom community in Haryana
135 members of six Muslim families belonging to mirasi or Doom community in Jind district’s Danoda village in Haryana converted to Hinduism in mid-April 2020 as violence against Muslims increased in the state. Four Muslims were attacked on April 4, 2020 in a village in Jind as they had not turned off lights on PM Modi’s appeal. A welding shop owned by Muslims in a village in Jind was also set on fire and owners were threatened that their skull caps would be removed and beards shaved off.[75]  
2250 members of 40 Muslim mirasi or Doom families from Bidhmira village in Hisar district of Haryana converted to Hinduism on May 8, 2020. A report claims there was no pressure for conversion but the ongoing anti-Muslim environment in India led to this incident.[76]  

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[6]Human Rights Watch Report, “Violent Cow Protection in India: Vigilante Groups Attack Minorities,” February 18, 2019, https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/02/18/violent-cow-protection-india/vigilante-groups-attack-minorities (accessed May 9, 2020).

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[8] Human Rights Watch Report, “Violent Cow Protection in India: Vigilante Groups Attack Minorities,” February 18, 2019, https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/02/18/violent-cow-protection-india/vigilante-groups-attack-minorities (accessed May 9, 2020).

[9]“Pehlu Khan lynching case: Two minors convicted for three years,” The New Indian Express, March 13, 2020, https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2020/mar/13/pehlu-khan-lynching-case-two-minors-convicted-for-three-years-2116372.html (accessed May 12, 2020).

[10]Kanwar Yogendra, “Lynching of U.P. man: Himachal Police book case,” The Hindu, March 26, 2016, https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/lynching-of-up-man-himachal-police-book-case/article7771060.ece (accessed, May 12, 2020).

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[14]Vijaita Singh, “New law to curb lynching unlikely,” The Hindu, August 26, 2019, https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/new-law-to-curb-lynching-unlikely/article29254824.ece (accessed May 9, 2020).


[16]“India Is Changing Some Cities’ Names, And Muslims Fear Their Heritage Is Being Erased,” NPR, April 23, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/04/23/714108344/india-is-changing-some-cities-names-and-muslims-fear-their-heritage-is-being-era (accessed May 9, 2020).

[17]Amulya Ganguli, “Renaming spree: Erasing Muslim heritage in India,” Gulf News, November 17, 2018, https://gulfnews.com/opinion/op-eds/renaming-spree-erasing-muslim-heritage-in-india-1.60422571 (accessed May 9, 2020).

[18]Hanan Zaffar, “Separate and Unequal: How growing communalisation led to a rise in Muslim-only enclaves,” The Caravan, September 1, 2019, https://caravanmagazine.in/lede/how-growing-communalisation-led-rise-muslim-only-enclaves (accessed May 10, 2020).

[19]Christofe Jaffrelott and Sharik Laliwala, “Inside Ahmedabad’s Juhapura: What It’s Like for Muslims to Live in a Ghetto,” The Wire, September 12, 2018, https://thewire.in/communalism/juhapura-ahmedabad-ghetto-muslims (accessed May 10, 2020).

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[29]P.K. Balachandran, Ban on Instant “Triple Talaq” is Justifiable, Not its Criminalization,” The Citizen, August 1, 2019, https://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/NewsDetail/index/7/17342/Ban-on-Instant-Triple-Talaq-is-Justifiable-Not-its-Criminalization (accessed May 10, 2020).

[30]Arid A. Jamal, “Criminalisingtalaq Muslim divorce in India is overkill,” South China Morning Post, August 7, 2019, https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3021570/criminalising-triple-talaq-muslim-divorce-overkill-would-india (Accessed May 10, 2020).

[31]Judgment of the Supreme Court of India in Civil Appeal Nos. 10866-10867 of 2010 M Siddiq (D) Thr Lrs …Appellants Versus Mahant Suresh Das & Ors …Respondents (case of Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir), November 9, 2019, https://web.archive.org/web/20191109070055/https://www.sci.gov.in/pdf/JUD_2.pdf (accessed May 12, 2020).

[32]National Alliance of People’s Movements, “Ayodhya Judgement Unjust: An Assault on the Secular Fabric of the Constitution,” Countercurrents.org, November 14, 2019, https://countercurrents.org/2019/11/ayodhya-judgement-unjust-an-assault-on-the-secular-fabric-of-the-constitution (accessed May 10, 2020).

[33]A.G. Noorani, “The RSS is at war with India’s past,” The Hindu, May 1, 2019, https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-rss-is-at-war-with-indias-past/article26995457.ece (accessed May 8, 2020).

[34]Tarique Anwar, “Ayodhya Verdict: Majoritarian Faith Prevailed, Say Some Experts,” News Click, November 13, 2019, https://www.newsclick.in/Ayodhya-Verdict-Supreme-Court-Majoritarian-Faith (accessed May 10, 2020).

[35]Human Rights Watch Report of April 2020, “Shoot the Traitors”: Discrimination Against Muslims under India’s New Citizenship Policy,” April 9, 2020, https://www.hrw.org/report/2020/04/09/shoot-traitors/discrimination-against-muslims-under-indias-new-citizenship-policy (accessed May 9, 2020).



[38]India-Chapter, USCIRF Annual Report 2020, April 28, 2020, https://www.uscirf.gov/reports-briefs/annual-report-chapters-and-summaries/india-chapter-2020-annual-report (accessed May 10, 2020).

[39]Hemani Bhandari, “Shaheen Bagh protest site cleared by Delhi Police. 9 held,” The Hindu, March 24, 2020, https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/shaheen-bagh-protest-site-cleared-by-delhi-police/article31148867.ece (accessed May 10, 2020).

[40] Geeta Pandey, “India Coronavirus: Pregnant student Safoora Zargar at risk in jail,” BBC News Online, May 12, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52608589 (accessed May 12, 2020).



[43]C. J. Werleman. “A Short History of India’s anti-Muslim Pogroms,” ExtraNewsfeed, March 7, 2020, https://extranewsfeed.com/a-short-history-of-indias-anti-muslim-pogroms-cbca127de42e (accessed May 10, 2020).

[44]Human Rights Watch Report of April 2020, “Shoot the Traitors”: Discrimination Against Muslims under India’s New Citizenship Policy,” April 9, 2020, https://www.hrw.org/report/2020/04/09/shoot-traitors/discrimination-against-muslims-under-indias-new-citizenship-policy (accessed May 9, 2020).

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[46]“Riots pre-planned, will not spare the guilty, says Shah,” The Tribune, March 12, 2020, https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/riots-pre-planned-will-not-spare-the-guilty-says-shah-53938 (accessed May 10, 2020).

[47]C. J. Werleman, “A Short History of India’s anti-Muslim Pogroms,” ExtraNewsfeed, March 7, 2020,  https://extranewsfeed.com/a-short-history-of-indias-anti-muslim-pogroms-cbca127de42e (accessed May 10, 2020).

[48]Human Rights Watch Report of April 2020, “Shoot the Traitors”: Discrimination Against Muslims under India’s New Citizenship Policy,” April 9, 2020, https://www.hrw.org/report/2020/04/09/shoot-traitors/discrimination-against-muslims-under-indias-new-citizenship-policy (accessed May 9, 2020).

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[50]Shinjini Ghosh, “Delhi violence ‘one-sided, well-planned’, says minorities panel,” The Hindu, March 4, 2020, https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-violence-one-sided-well-planned-says-minorities-panel/article30979785.ece (accessed May 10, 2020).

[51]“An Account of Fear & Impunity: Preliminary Fact-Finding Report on Community-Targeted Violence in Northeast Delhi, February 2020” by Youth for Human Rights Documentation, The Polis Project, https://www.thepolisproject.com/an-account-of-fear-impunity-a-preliminary-fact-finding-report-on-communally-targeted-violence-in-ne-delhi-february-2020/#.XrhEMi_hWhA (accessed May 10, 2020).


[53]“Delhi Violence: NCHRO Fact-Finding ReportPublished: It’s not a “riot” but a targeted anti-Muslims brutality colluded by Delhi Police,” National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations, March 14, 2020, http://www.nchro.org/index.php/2020/03/14/delhi-violence-nchro-fact-finding-report-published-its-not-a-riot-but-a-targeted-anti-muslim-brutality-colluded-by-delhi-police/ (accessed May 10, 2020).

[54]Anjali Modi, “In photos: Fourteen Delhi mosques and a dargah that were burnt by Hindutva vigilantes in three days,” Scroll.in, March 12, 2020, https://scroll.in/article/955713/in-photos-fifteen-muslim-shrines-in-delhi-that-were-burnt-by-hindutva-vigilantes-in-three-days (accessed May 10, 2020).

[55]Aishwarya S. Iyer, “Under Lockdown, Confusion & Fear Grip NE Delhi As Arrests Increase,” The Quint, April 22, 2020, https://www.thequint.com/news/india/north-east-delhi-violence-case-investigation-muslim-minority (accessed May 10, 2020).

[56]“Riots pre-planned, will not spare the guilty, says Shah,” The Tribune, March 12, 2020, https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/riots-pre-planned-will-not-spare-the-guilty-says-shah-53938 (accessed May 10, 2020).

[57]“I’ve been booked for sedition because I took on Hindutva, says Delhi Minorities Commission chief Zafarul Islam,” National Herald, May 7, 2020,  https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/i-have-been-booked-for-sedition-because-i-took-on-hindutva-says-zafarul-islam-khan (accessed May 10, 2020).

[58]“Despite Its Guidelines Against ‘Stigmatisation’, Govt Hypes Jamaat Role in COVID-19 Spread,” The Wire, April 18, 2020, https://thewire.in/government/health-ministry-covid-19-tablighi-jamaat(accessed May 6, 2020).

[59]Rajdeep Sardesai, “No Islamophobia in Corona Times Please,” rajdeepsardesai.net, April 24, 2020, https://www.rajdeepsardesai.net/columns/no-islamophobia-please-corona-times(accessed May 7, 2020).


[61]Irena Akbar, “It Was Naive to Expect They Would Forget Their Hatred Towards Muslims in a Crisis,” The Wire, April 20, 2020, https://thewire.in/communalism/it-was-naive-of-us-to-expect-india-would-forget-its-hatred-towards-muslims-in-a-crisis (accessed May 7, 2020).

[62]Shaik Zakeer Hussain, “Open Call For Genocide: ‘Star Of Mysore’ Newspaper Refers Muslims As ‘Rotten Apples’, Calls For Getting ‘Rid Of Them’,” The Cognate Online, April 11, 2020, https://thecognate.com/open-call-for-genocide-star-of-mysore-newspaper-refers-muslims-as-rotten-apples-calls-for-getting-rid-of-them/ (accessed May 9, 2020).




[66]Dev Raj, “Sangh boys will be Sangh boys,” The Telegraph.com, April 27, 2020, https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/discrimination-in-times-of-coronavirus-sangh-boys-will-be-sangh-boys/cid/1768330 (accessed May 7, 2020).

[67]Amarnath Tiwary, “FIR against Bajrang Dal members for unfurling saffron flags at Hindu shops,” The Hindu, April 27, 2020, https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/fir-against-bajrang-dal-members-for-unfurling-saffron-flags-at-hindu-shops/article31440255.ece (accessed May 7, 2020).

[68]Alok Pandey, “”Was I Wrong?” BJP MLA Says Boycott Muslim Vegetable Sellers, Defiant,” The NDTV.com, April 28, 2020, https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/coronavirus-lockdown-on-camera-bjp-mla-suresh-tiwari-says-boycott-muslim-vegetable-vendors-defends-himself-2219589 (accessed May 7, 2020).

[69]Milind Ghatwai, “Poster barring entry of Muslim traders in Indore village surfaces, case registered,” The Indian Express, May 3, 2020, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/madhya-pradesh-indore-village-poster-bars-entry-of-muslim-traders-6391584/ (accessed May 10, 2020).

[70]“Covid-19: Separate wards for Hindu and Muslim patients made in Ahmedabad hospital,” Scroll.in, April 15, 2020, https://scroll.in/latest/959274/covid-19-separate-wards-for-hindu-and-muslim-patients-made-in-ahmedabad-hospital (accessed May 9, 2020).

[71]Abid Faheem, “Ignored and Discriminated Against, Muslims Have Lost Their Faith in the Healthcare System,”The Wire, April 24, 2020, https://thewire.in/communalism/coronavirus-muslims-communal-healthcare (accessed May 9, 2020).

[72]“COVID-19: Kanpur police announce Rs 10,000 reward for info on Tablighi Jamaat members,” The Economic Times, April 20, 2020, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/covid-19-kanpur-police-announce-rs-10000-reward-for-info-on-tablighi-jamaat members/articleshow/75252365.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign =cppst (accessed May 7, 2020).

[73]Asad Rehman, “Told to stop loudspeakers, azaan, allege some UP mosques; officials say no such order,” The Indian Express, April 26, 2020, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/told-to-stop-loudspeakers-azaan-allege-some-up-mosques-officials-say-no-such-order-6379420/ (accessed May 7, 2020). 

[74]“Ensure mosques are able to use loudspeakers for azan,” The Hindu, April 25, 2020, https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/ensure-mosques-are-able-to-use-loudspeakers-for-azan/article31429343.ece (accessed May 7, 2020).

[75]“Six Muslim families convert in Haryana’s Jind district,” The Hindu, April 23, 2020, https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/six-muslim-families-convert-in-haryanas-jind-district/article31419177.ece (accessed May 9, 2020).

[76]“Haryana: 40 Muslim families convert to Hinduism,” Times of India, May 9, 2020 https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/haryana-40-muslim-families-convert-to-hinduism/articleshow/75639892.cms (accessed May 9, 2020).

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