On the night of May 19, a Mahadalit colony in Majhwa village under Baisi police station of Bihar’s Purnea district was set on fire by a Muslim mob. Over a dozen Mahadalit houses were reduced to ashes in the horrific incident, after more than 200 Muslims from nearby villages, armed with weapons, surrounded the colony and set it on fire. About 60 families of Mahadalits reside in the area.
The mob brutally attacked the Dalits, who tried to stop them from carrying out the destruction. The Muslim mob dragged them out of their houses and brutally assaulted them with sharp weapons.
An elderly retired watchman, Mewalal Rai (70), was brutally killed in the attack. The rampaging mob mercilessly assaulted pregnant lady Laxmi Devi. She sustained critical injuries on her head but managed to flee the spot.
The area where this horrific incident occurred falls in Baisi Assembly constituency. The Baisi MLA is Syed Ruknuddin Ahmed from Asaduddin Owaisi- led All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM). The Islamist party won 5 seats in the Bihar Assembly elections last year, all of them from the Seemanchal area
3-Year-Old Child Missing
According to a local, a 3-year-old boy Diwana Rai, son of one Pratap Rai, is missing after the incident happened. It is expected that the mob has killed the child.
The Muslim mob, shouting Allahu Akbar, attacked the houses from all sides.
The reason behind the horrific incident is said to be the grudges local Muslims hold towards the Mahadalits living in the area. For months now, the Muslims have been threatening and asking the Mahadalits to vacate the land, claiming it belongs to them. However, according to the Mahadalits, the land on which their houses are built is government land, belonging to the PWD Department.
VHP demands Immediate Action Against Perpetrators
After the incident, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) members reached the spot to take stock of the situation. After that, VHP issued a strong statement condemning the incident and demanding immediate action against the perpetrators.
In its statement, VHP alleged inaction by the local administration and police. VHP also drew attention to how such incidents of atrocities towards Dalits by Muslims are becoming more and more common. VHP’s Union General Secretary Milind Parande wrote that Muslims carry out such atrocities with the tacit support of local administration. Expressing concern over the sadistic violent attacks perpetrated by Islamic Jihadists in Purnia, Bihar, the organisation has demanded fast justice for the victimised Mahadalit families.
The VHP Secretary-General said that this heinous attack has also again exposed the “Meem-Bheem” slogan. Shady characters hiding behind such fake slogans for petty political gains have long been making this mighty Dalit community of Hindu society the victim of violence.
The VHP also said that until and unless the protection, compensation and rehabilitation of all the aggrieved Mahadalit families are ensured, and the most rigorous action taken against the thug aggressors, the Hindu society won’t sit silent!
Vivek Lath, VHP’s Prachar Pramukh of Purnia district, told Organiser that the frenzied Muslim mob surrounded the Mahadalit colony from all sides and set the houses on fire.
“They did not spare anyone, be it, small children or the women of the house. The Muslim mob mercilessly assaulted a pregnant lady named Laxmi Devi. She sustained critical injuries. A Hindu temple was also set ablaze, where these people used to pray,” said the VHP leader.
While narrating the horrific incident over a telephonic conversation with Organiser, Vivek Lath said that the police reached the spot 2.5 hours after the incident. The fire engines reached the site three hours after everything was reduced to ashes.
Vivek said that the incident was a result of a scuffle over the ongoing land dispute, which broke out that afternoon, between Mewalal Rai and some Muslims of that area. Looking at the situation, local police deputed two guards to maintain harmony and avoid further tension. But, members of the Muslim community were in no mood to end this fight, and at night they brutally attacked Mahadalits’ houses.
The two on-duty guards, Bharat Rai and Dinesh Rai, were also attacked, and their motorbikes were set on fire. While one was severely injured in the incident, the other managed to escape.
Bharat Rai said there was a scuffle during the day, after which the administration intervened and maintained peace, but at night, a mob of about 200 Muslims from nearby villages reached there. They had a gallon of petrol in their hands. The mob poured petrol on the houses and started burning them. In the meantime, when people left the house and started running away, the mob dragged them out and started beating them. The mob also carried swords, sticks, petrol and bike chains. Several people have been injured in the mob attack.
More than 25 people were severely injured in the attack.
Since the incident, three FIRs have been lodged in the Baisi police station against seven identified and over 100 unidentified Islamists. Still, under alleged pressure from the administration, the local police have made only two arrests so far. The arrested accused were identified as Mohd Sakir and Mohd Ibrahim.
Perpetrators Have Received Financial Help Up To Rs 50 lakhs
According to villagers, the Muslim perpetrators who the victims identified have been hiding in the adjacent Mobaiya panchayat in Baisi. The panchayat’s sarpanch, namely Islam Mukhiya and his brother Zakir have provided them shelter in their own house.
They also alleged that these culprits are also being provided financial aid to carry out these crimes. Since the incident happened, a sum of Rs 50 lakhs has been provided to these culprits.
Muslims Have Support From AIMIM’s MLA Sayed Ruknuddin Ahmad
Vivek alleged that the Muslims in the region carry out these crimes against Mahadalits as they have the full support of Local MLA and AIMIM leader Sayed Ruknuddin Ahmad. Because of Ahmad, local administration and the police do not take any strict action against the perpetrators.
The VHP leader said that this is not the first time Mahadalits of this region are being attacked. A similar incident took place on April 24. At that time also, a Muslim mob had attacked the families of Mahadalits in the same village. That time, two Dalit houses were set on fire. An FIR was filed then too, but because of AIMIM leader Sayed Ruknuddin Ahmad, the culprits managed to escape law. In fact, with the help of Ahmad, the Muslims had then falsely implicated the Mahadalits by filing a false case of molestation against them.
NCPCR Issued a Notice to Purnia Superintendent
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Protection Of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued a notice to the Purnia Superintendent seeking immediate action against the kidnapping of the 3-year-old Diwana Rai during the incident of mob attack on May 19. Speaking to Organiser, NCPCR Chairman Priyank Kanoongo said that the Commission had asked police to submit a comprehensive report regarding the May 19 incident in the next 48 hours and has ordered the Child Welfare Officer of the district to record the statements of the victimised children under the Juvenile Justice Act 2015, and submit the same to the commission along with the report.
Attack on Mahadalits by Muslims, A Routine Affair
A similar incident of violence had occurred in 2015 too after which a police contingent was camped out at the village so many days.
Last year also, on April 18, Mahadalits in Bihar’s Warisaliganj were attacked in their colony by the Muslims. In the matter, Police detained eight accused Murshid Khan, Tipu Khan, Irshad Khan, Sona Khan, Nadeem Qureshi, Golu Khan, Arif Khan and Azhar Khan.