A Muslim mob attacked and vandalised an under-construction Hindu temple in Etugaddapalyam, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, on December 30, 2023, after 7 p.m., when the locals were settling down for the evening after a hard day’s work. However, the police is accused of
This unprovoked attack targeted Hindus of the SC community (Mala) in the Danamkonda SC colony of Etugaddapalyam, Punganur Mandal. The victims claim that around 150 Muslims from various parts of Punganur town attacked them with rods and sticks, threw bricks and stones, and shouted derogatory remarks about their caste and women.
According to the residents, this Muslim mob also barged into the sacred under-construction Dhanakonda Gangamma temple wearing footwear, an insult to deities and destroyed the holy idols as well as threw out lamps, mics, and diyas. They also hurled insults at women and chanted “Allahu Akbar” while shouting “kill” and “attack women.”
The residents claim that they have been working on this temple for a year with great devotion and personal funds.
30.12.2024 at 7.30 PM: Mob of 150 lead by Navaz, Khaza, Suhail, Aslam, Mubaraq & others attacked SC families of Etugadda Palyam, Punganuru, Chittoor, AP with stones & bricks, destructed Gangamma Mandir & shouted to kill them.
No case regisered as per info.@APPOLICE100 pic.twitter.com/v7aOXkBr1E
— Legal Rights Protection Forum (@lawinforce) January 2, 2024
Immediately, after damaging temple, the attackers forcibly entered into the Hindu homes with the intent of harming the women and children, creating an unexpected and terrifying scene. Particularly, a mob of 15 Muslims broke into Gamgamma’s house and began chasing her, prompting her to turn off the lights and flee to the house’s roof. They threw stones and bricks at Gangamma’s house. They also wreaked havoc on nearby Reddamma’s home and terrified her.
The Muslim mob continuously attacked residents with obscene language, physically harming Hindus identified as Lokesh, Sandeep, Damu, Ishwar, Venky, Nagaraju, Sumanth, Uday, Mallikarjuna, Venky, Santu, Jeevan, Vinay, Siva, and Murali, all residents of Etugaddapalayam. In this fight, Jyotish had to be taken to a government hospital due to head injury in an attack by mob.
The victims identified the attackers as Nawaju, Kaja, Intu, Nuru, Suhail, Amin, Chothu, Beeru, Aslam, Subhin, Mubarak, and others. The attackers allegedly shouted slanderous words, hurled bricks and stones, and used rods and sticks against the dalits.
In response to the horrible crime, the residents say that Circle Inspector Raghava Reddy and his team reached late at night, but they did not show any signs of stopping the attackers; instead, they merely asked them to leave the colony, which is a shocking and shameful response and arrested only nine from the mob, but they were released on the next day.
Speaking to Organiser, Jyotish said the police are trying to mislead the case with false charges.
According to locals, the problem arose after a youth from the SC colony celebrated a birthday party at the village crossroads by removing Islamic flags and Tipu Sultan posters as a precaution to keep them away from firecrackers.
When Hindus from the Danamkonda colony went to the police station the next day to file a complaint, the officers did not listen to their complaints or the crime incident. Furthermore, they claim that locals were threatened with false charges and terrorised. Sudhakar Reddy, the Ponganur DSP, met with both parties. But because of the SC’s insistence and pressure, they filed a formal complaint against Muslims. However, dalits claim that the police are yet to take any action against the 150 people who have forcibly entered their residential colony. The victims accuse the police of bias and collusion with the criminals.
Local BJP leader Prem Kumar said, they will continue to fight for justice and ensure to punish the attackers. He also says that the local YSRCP leaders and Punganoor Municipal chairman Aleem Basha reached the police station and made a deal to release the arrested Muslim youth.
While, Hindu families who have been impacted by the police’s inaction have decided to seek justice through legal means. They demand that the appropriate criminal laws be applied to both the attackers and the police officers accused of bias in their favor.