In Vellore, Hindu traders and Hindu Munnani, who opposed overnight mosque in a residential place in the busy bazar, are now facing threats and being pressurised to withdraw their protests.
As part of the land jihad, Muslims are now keen on building mosques in Hindu-dominated residential areas which have gained momentum after DMK’s victory in Assembly and the recent local body polls. The following incidents are a pointer.
On February 24, tension prevailed on Sarkar Mandi street on Gandhi Road after a group of people in the area opposed the construction of a new mosque. They alleged that the mosque was built without proper permission, and by altering a house overnight. They claimed building a mosque in the area would create friction between the people belonging to different faiths.
Defending his community, GS Iqbal, president of Dravida Muslim Munnetra Kalagam (DMMK), said, “The mosque has been there since 1866, and we have revenue records and Wakf Board documents to support this. They (Hindu Munnani) are now opposing this and trying to create religious tension in the area. We have submitted evidence to the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) and urged the district administration to take action against them.”
As per documents obtained through RTI, journalist S Rajesh Rao revealed that one Abdul Rahim paid property tax for the building in question. It is a residential building and in the frontal area, he runs a juice shop. If allowed, slowly this shop would create a hurdle towards Hindu religious and marriage processions on the route. People will gather for namaz in large numbers and park their vehicles on roads haphazardly resulting in traffic snarls.
He further said, “Hindu traders, directly and indirectly, are threatened, pressurised to change their stand. Efforts are on to divide them on communal and caste basis. They are spreading a lot of falsehood in social media and media. There are some incidents which are triggered Hindu-Muslim clashes. It all started on February 24 and it is still boiling. During the previous AIADMK rule, they were dormant but after DMK won both in Assembly and the recent local body elections, there has been full swing activities to build a mosque here. They know that DMK would support”.
One Habib is posting personal information of people who are opposing the mosque construction in Whatsapp. Meanwhile, RDO Vishnupriya, a day before her transfer to Chengalpet, had hurriedly closed the file on February 25 allowing prayers in the disputed place. However, she did not conduct any inquiry.
Rajesh, while recalling an old event, said, “In Sathuvacharry, an Islamic trust, bought a property and started building a mosque in 2008. Thanks to Hindu Munnani’s protest, which lasted till 2011 and a legal battle, they were forced to abandon it. Vellaiyan and Dr Arvinda Reddy, who led the protests, were killed by Islamic fundamentalists. Manitha Neya Makkal Katchi’s State-level functionary H. Ahmed posts messages in social media, calling Muslims to gather in large numbers to show their solidarity and also spreads false messages about Mahesh and other Hindu leaders. Muslims in DMK are unanimous on the issue. Hindus in DMK cajole Hindu traders to make peace with Muslims.”
Rajesh fears they may target Mahesh and wants enhancement of his security, besides a crackdown on Islamic fundamentalists as well to find out if there are any Bangladeshi, Rohingya Muslim paid killers.