Original reporting by Meer Faisal
First published on www.thelondonstory.org on August 7 2023
On 31st July, far-right Hindu outfits including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal organised a car rally, gathering people from different parts of Haryana to the Muslim-majority district of Nuh.
Monu Manesar, the infamous cow vigilante who is accused in murder cases, put out videos exhorting Hindus to join him in the rally. Another Hindu extremist Bitu Bajrangi streamed a video using foul language against Muslims. According to eyewitnesses, the people in the rally were brandishing swords, weapons, playing raucous music and raising provocative slogans against Muslims.
Once the rally reached Nuh, there was an outbreak of violence as participants in the rally clashed with local Muslims. Four people, including two cops, were killed in the violence. Moreover, scores of vehicles were set on fire by the rioters. The violence spilled over to the adjoining areas including Sohna, Palwal and Gurgaon.
A Hindu mob barged inside a mosque in Gurgaon in the middle of the night and lynched its 22-year-old Imam, Maulana Saad. A part of the mosque was also torched by the mob.
The next day, mobs went on a rampage in Gurgaon, setting fire to shops owned by Muslims. Poor Muslim migrant workers were forced out of their shanties and told to vacate the city.
In Sohna town, a stretch of shops belonging to Muslims lay charred following the violence. Windows of homes were broken, vehicles burned and the streets were littered with stones and bricks. The Shahi Jama mosque was also vandalised, its window panes were broken and copies of the Quran were thrown on the floor.
As of August 7, tensions continue to simmer in the region. The recent series of violence in Nuh, Gurugram and other areas that are located only a short distance from the Indian parliament has left many displaced Muslims uncertain about their future.
Several residents of Nuh, Gurugram and Palwal also allege that the police are conducting arbitrary arrests of Muslim men from their homes.
In the aftermath of the Nuh violence in Haryana, authorities carried out demolitions of houses and shops belonging to mostly Muslim residents, stating that some owners were involved in the violence.
The demolitions took place for three days near Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Hospital in Nalhar, which had shops standing for nearly three years. The district administration previously denied any connection between the demolitions and the communal violence that occurred during a religious yatra. Haryana’s home minister vowed action against the accused using “bulldozers” if needed.
Reporting by Meer Faisal for The London Story. Meer Faisal is a Multimedia journalist based in Delhi covering minorities. He has been instrumental in debunking the hate crimes committed by Hindutva groups on virtual platforms and reporting the physical violence of Hindutva organisations in different parts of the country. His work has been featured in outlets including Al Jazeera, DW News, TRT World, Article 14, The Wire, First post, and Maktoob Media.