After reportedly arresting 300 people for their alleged involvement in riots in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, the local authorities are now also reported to have demolished several Muslim families’ homes for taking part in last weekend’s massive protests sparked by derogatory remarks on Prophet Muhammad SAW created by Nupur Sharma, the now-suspended BJP spokeswoman.
According to local media reports, the house of Muslim politician Javed Ahmed and his daughter, Afreen Fatima, a well-known Muslim rights activist, has now been razed to the ground after he was accused of organizing demonstrations that turned violent.
The property of two more people accused of throwing stones at protests after Friday prayers were also destroyed in the state.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets last week to protest insulting comments about the Prophet Muhammad by Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal. They are officials from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In the demonstration, clashes between Muslims and Hindus and police and protesters were inevitable. The country’s Muslim minority considers the derogatory comments in the televised debate the latest example of humiliation and pressure under the BJP-led government, which has previously been criticized for its frequent discrimination against the country’s Muslim minority, ranging from restrictions on worship to the latest ban on wearing the hijab.
To this day, Muslim groups are still calling for the arrests of Sharma and Jindal for their comments, with cases being filed against them. On the other hand, hardline Hindu groups regard the two BJP officials who made the Islamophobic comments as brave and nationalist politicians.
The BJP state spokesman revealed that the BJP’s beautified Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, had ordered officials to demolish any illegal establishments and homes of people suspected of being involved in the riots there last weekend.
The demolitions sparked outrage on social media, with rights activists and opposition leaders claiming that Adityanath’s government had used unconstitutional methods to silence protesters.
According to India’s renowned advocate Karuna Nundy, Afreen Fatima’s family, including her mother and sister, have been detained at an undisclosed location. In contrast, their house has been destroyed by state bulldozers. This proves that the fringe elements have taken over the building and made their laws.