Indian authorities demolish homes of Muslims amid anti-Islamophobia protests

Indian authorities demolish homes of Muslims amid anti-Islamophobia protests
Indian authorities have demolished the homes of those accused of spreading violence during recent protests against a BJP spokesperson's hateful remarks about Prophet Muhammad.
2 min read
12 June, 2022
Indian authorities claim they are only demolishing homes that are 'illegal structures' [Getty]

Indian authorities have bulldozed the homes of several Muslims over the weekend who participated in or organised protests against inflammatory comments about Prophet Muhammad by a ruling party spokesperson.

Homes in the cities of Kanpur, Saharanpur and Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) were demolished amid heavy police presence or are slated to be razed, according to local media.

Local governments, many of which belong to Narendra Modi's right-wing BJP, claim that the houses were illegal structures. 

The chief minister of India’s largest state Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath - known for his hateful and incendiary remarks against Muslims - said that the home demolition spree would continue to eliminate ‘criminals and mafia’, according to the Hindustan Times

Thousands of Muslims over the past few weeks have protested against derogatory comments made by a now-suspended BJP spokesperson. The police responded forcefully, with dozens of videos online showing policemen brutally beating protestors with sticks and batons. 

Around 230 people have so far been arrested from seven districts of Uttar Pradesh following protests which turned violent after Friday prayers on 10 June.

Hundreds of others have been arrested across India, and two people were killed in the eastern city of Ranchi allegedly during to police firing. 

India has reportedly been accused of using home demolitions as punitive punishment against those suspected of carrying out crimes. Many of the levelled homes belong to members of India’s Muslim community. 

Earlier this year, government authorities in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Gujarat demolished homes, shops and the entrance to a mosque soon after right-wing Hindu extremists organised incendiary rallies in Muslim areas.

Several Muslim and Arab countries, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Indonesia, have condemned the remarks against the prophet.