English Script: Vishnu Gopinath
Video Editor: Mohd. Irshad Alam
Why are Muslims being forced to leave their lives and livelihoods behind in Uttarakhand's Purola and flee? Was it simply communal tensions sparked by one incident, or was there much more to it?
Communal tensions reached a breaking point in Purola on 26 May 2023 when local residents accused two men of abducting a juvenile girl. One of the two suspects, Ubaid Khan, being a Muslim, led to accusations of 'Love Jihad'.
The two men, Ubaid Khan (24) and Jitendra Saini (23), were charged under sections 363 (kidnapping) and 366A (procuration of minor girl) of the Indian Penal Code, as well as under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
On 29 May, right-wing organisations took out a big rally in Purola, demanding that Muslims leave the city. The videos of the rally went viral. Despite the presence of police, the mob attacked and vandalised shops owned by Muslims. Apart from this, black X marks were draw on shutters of Muslim shops in Barkot town near Purola.
Apart from this, Mohammad Zahid, the head of BJP's minority cell in Uttarkashi, had to leave Purola, where he had been living for more than 25 years, for fear of his life.
'When we are not safe there, then which Muslims will be safe?'Mohammed Zahid, District President, BJP Minority Cell
A Pattern Behind The Persecution
What's happening in Uttarakhand is not new. There is a pattern behind it. For many months, people have been instigated towards violence against Muslims in Uttarakhand. An atmosphere of terror has been created over allegations of "love jihad", "land jihad" and Muslims as jihadis. Let us tell you what, how and who are sowing the seeds of hatred in Uttarakhand before May 26.
For the full story, watch the video.