Surge in anti-Muslim violence in India amid Ramadan and Shobha Yatra clash
Muslim-majority Kiradpura saw some of the worst violence, with mobs of young men on bikes hurling anti-Muslim slogans at locals, reported The Times of India.
The insults sparked clashes between the two groups, resulting in stone-throwing and vehicle torching. The police eventually used force, including tear gas, to suppress the clashes.
Other attacks against Muslims were reported in other parts of India, including a stabbing in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, and two separate incidents in Jharkhand when one man was beaten and another chained to a tree, according to journalist Meer Faisal.
"The minor incidents that earlier used to happen have now turned into a considerable amount of arson and violence against Muslims," Faisal wrote on Twitter, in the thread containing dozens of video footage of anti-Muslim attacks.
#Thread on anti-Muslim violence in the last 24 hours and how the anti-Muslim violence broke out across India in the name of the Shobha Yatra. The minor incidents that earlier used to happen have now turned into a considerable amount of arson and violence against Muslims.+— Meer Faisal (@meerfaisal01) March 30, 2023
"What a sick society we have become. That the minority community has to brace and prepare for [a] blatant display of bigotry, violence, threats, intimidation, even obscenities, and that too, on the holy, auspicious occasion of the festival celebrating ‘Maryada Purushottam’," wrote Rakesh Sharma on Twitter, a documentary filmmaker who created the Final Solution documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Shobha Yatra is an annual celebration in which thousands of Hindus take to the streets to mark the birth anniversary of Sri Rama Navami.
This year, celebrations coincided with the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.
A number of online videos showed individuals breaking into mosques to wave Hindu nationalist flags or entering Muslim homes to disrupt itfar, the meal Muslims break their Ramadan fast.
India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has seen an uptick in anti-Muslim violence given the growing prevalence of populist Hindu nationalist sentiments in the world's second-largest population.
This extremist rhetoric has been used to fabricate notions of an internal Muslim threat in India and galvanise support among the government’s voter base.
Modi was the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat in 2002 when it was gripped by communal riots that left more than 1,000 people dead.
Many of his critics view the incident as the opening episode of his campaign to use Hindu nationalism and anti-Muslim sentiment to secure political power and turn India into a majority-Hindu state.