Hindutva chants, vandalising Muslims’ properties, Police violence: What happened in Darbhanga on Basant Panchami? (Maktoob Media)

By Ghazala Ahmad

Violence erupted in various areas of Darbhanga district, Bihar, on February 15 and 16 during Saraswati Visarjan Pooja, also known as Basant Panchmi, a Hindu festival commemorating the goddess Saraswati and symbolizing the onset of spring.

However, the practice of Saraswati idol immersion which has been peaceful over the past years allegedly turned out to be violent and hostile for the Muslim community this year, subsequently leading to the arrests of both Muslims and Hindus in large numbers.

On February 15 and 16, Darbhanga reported two incidents. In one, Bahera Police booked more than 400 identified and unidentified individuals, both Hindus and Muslims, for allegedly inciting communal violence and attacking police personnel. In another, Tarsarai Muria police booked 61 Muslims, including women and minors.

In both incidents, the Saraswati Visarjan procession passed outside mosques, chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and allegedly hurling abuses at Muslims.

Police officers are also accused of barging into the houses of Muslims and arresting them despite their no involvement in the violence.

This story was originally published in maktoobmedia.com. Read the full story here.

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