‘Mob violence’: 200+ orgs, individuals write to Prez (The Times of India)

DEHRADUN: Over 200 social organisations and individuals from more than 20 states across the country have written an open letter to President Droupadi Murmu over rising incidents of “mob violence, unconstitutional demolitions and evictions in Uttarakhand“, urging “immediate action to protect the lives and property of innocent people and the values of the Constitution”.

This comes in the backdrop of the ongoing communal tension at Purola in Uttarkashi, where minority community members have been asked to leave their homes after the arrest of two men, one of them from the minority community, for allegedly trying to abduct a minor girl from a different faith.

Letter slams ‘role of govt’, asks for immediate action

The opening paragraph of the letter, a copy of which is with TOI, reads, “Madam, we write because we have come to understand that Uttarakhand – a state whose beauty, harmony, and history of democratic values are well known – has been witnessing an orchestrated wave of unconstitutional and illegal demolitions, evictions, and incidents of mob violence over the last two months. We condemn the role of the government in this hate-filled campaign and call for immediate action.” The signatories, which include organisations and individuals from almost every corner of the country — ranging from Spiti valley to Jharkhand — criticised Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami’s role in the current state of affairs, saying, “On April 7, the chief minister of Uttarakhand publicly claimed, with no evidence, that the state is facing the threat of ‘land jihad’. Such an openly communal statement is against our Constitution.”

“On the basis of this communal claim, the state administration then formed a committee in every district and began demolishing hundreds of religious sites in addition to the homes of common people. Decades-old or hundred-year-old religious sites, especially mazars (Sufi shrines), were demolished without any legal process. This is despite the fact that centuries-old religious sites, by definition, cannot be considered encroachments,” the letter said, adding that “in addition to the statement of the chief minister and these administrative measures, hate speech and mob violence has also increased in the state.” “In the Purola area of Uttarkashi district, 42 minority families were forced to flee on May 28, according to newspaper reports. Their shops have remained closed,” said the letter…

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

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