Campaign Against State Repression strongly condemns the state-sponsored violence in Mewat.
Since 31st July 2023, violence by Hindutva forces has escalated into a large-scale pogrom against Muslims in Haryana and adjacent areas, starting from the town of Nuh, Haryana. It began with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s “Brij Mandal Jalabhishek Yatra” where known cow vigilantes and murderers such as Monu Manesar and Bittu Bajrangi announced their presence and participation. This yatra swiftly seized control of the annual Hindu religious “kawad yatra”, with VHP and Bajrang Dal leaders making provocative declarations online, hinting at violence against Muslims in Nuh. All of this escalated into an organized pogrom which started at Nuh and quickly spread to Gurgaon, Sohna and Palwal, where in Gurgaon particularly, Hafiz Saad, an imam at Anjuman Jama Masjid was murdered by Hindutva mobs.The organized nature of this violence is exposed by how Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal members continued to provoke Muslims of Mewat through their social media outlets while also carrying weapons during the supposed religious procession. The carrying of swords and other weapons has even been questioned by BJP’s own Minister of State and Gurgaon Member of Parliament Rao Inderjit Singh. Over the years, Hindutva forces have particularly targeted the Mewat region, a Muslim-majority area. Muslims in Mewat, particularly the Meo community, are an agrarian community which have a history of cow herding, like most other agrarian communities in North India.
The Mewat region also happens to be one of the most impoverished areas in the country, with Mewat being declared India’s most underdeveloped district in 2018. The Brahmanical Hindutva fascist forces, over the years, have continuously attacked people in Mewat in the name of cow protection, with the BJP-led Haryana government even introducing a cow protection legislation that has allowed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-associated mobs, cow vigilantes, impunity to function directly out of police stations and government offices. Under this garb, many Muslim farmers and cattle herders have been lynched under false allegations of cow smuggling. Others have had their cattle stolen by Hindutva mobs and forcefully placed in expensive gaushalas.The pogrom in Nuh has seen continuous support from state institutions. In the case of Hafiz Saad, in his last conversation with his family, he stated that the police had secured his mosque and were claiming to protect him. A few hours later he was stabbed and murdered.
The BJP-led government in Haryana has used this as an opportunity to continue the fascist trend of bulldozering homes, medical stores, shelters and huts and Muslims in Mewat, with hundreds of houses being demolished by bulldozers in the name of curbing ‘illegal encroachment.’ This same politics has been utilized in Uttar Pradesh against Muslim activists and journalists, in Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, even using the G20 summit as an excuse to demolish homes. Ministers in the Haryana government like Anil Vij have openly claimed that these demolitions are the “ilaaj” (solution) for the pogroms in Haryana, aiding the Hindutva mobs and actively using state institutions to participate in this organized and planned attack against Muslim in Haryana. We call on all democratic forces to unite against state-sponsored violence through cow vigilante groups.