‘Don’t Touch Them’: Muslims Attacked in Karnataka Over COVID-19
Muslims were attacked in at least five districts in the state.
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“You people (Muslims) are the ones who are spreading this disease,” shouted a group of men while attacking two Muslim men with sticks and irons rods in Karnataka’s Bagalkot district. This was one of the several attacks on Muslims reported in Karnataka over the past one week .
In a video that went viral, around 10 to 15 residents of Bidari village in Rabkavi Banahatti taluk of Bagalkot can be seen surrounding two Muslim men, armed with sticks and iron rods. The residents could be heard saying: “You people (Muslims) are the ones who are spreading this disease… Don’t touch them. They are the ones spreading the disease,”
The heckling and attack caught on camera goes on for more than eight minutes, as the three victims are seen standing with their hands folded, pleading for mercy. So far no FIR has been registered in the case since no complaint has been filed.
In another incident that took place in Kadakorappa village in the same district, goons reportedly barged into a mosque and attacked people praying there.
On the night of 5 April, two mosques were attacked in Belagavi for keeping the lights on despite the Prime Minister’s call to switch them off for nine minutes at 9 PM on 5 April. The attackers barged into the mosque and demanded that the lights be turned off. The police is said to have arrested over 20 perpetrators in connection with the two incidents.
In Karnataka’s capital Bengaluru, Swaraj Abhiyan workers were reportedly attacked with cricket bats while distributing food to stranded migrant workers
“We have been working with police permission. But today (Monday, 6 April), they (goons) followed us and hit us with bats. They didn’t say anything. They hit me on the hand and head,” Syed Tabrez, one of the workers, told The Quint.
“They told us that we are not allowed to distribute food, that we are all from Nizamuddin. They said the virus is spreading because of us and that we cannot distribute the food. There was some trouble there, then the police said we can distribute the food and supported us,” Tabrez further said, recalling an earlier confrontation with right wing cadres a few days before the attack.
In Second Kolya in Mangaluru, posters were put up saying, “In the interest of citizens of Second Kolya, Kaneertota, no Muslim trader is allowed into the village till the coronavirus outbreak is contained. Signed: All Hindus, Second Kolya.”
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