Tripura has been witnessing an alarming series of communal violence and targeted attacks against Muslims in the last week.
According to information relayed by local activists and residents, there have been at least 27 confirmed incidents of Hindutva mobs attacking mosques, houses and individuals in Muslim areas. These include 16 incidents where mosques were vandalised and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) flags were forcibly hoisted on them. At least three mosques, Palbazar mosque in Unnakoti district, Dogra Masjid in Gomati district and Narola Tila in Vishalgarh were set on fire.
There are confirmed reports of Muslim houses being pelted with stones and houses of prominent Muslims being targeted and vandalised. Almost all of these attacks were carried out by various right-wing groups including VHP that had ostensibly gathered to protest anti-Hindu violence in Bangladesh.
The details were provided at a press conference by the Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR), where activists from Tripura and members of civil society spoke about the communal incidents of the last week and the current situation of the state.
“On Tuesday, the government imposed section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code in Dharmanagar and Kailashahar parts of North Tripura to prevent protests against the violence in the state. However, there has been no action in the areas which saw vandalism by the mob. The state and police authorities are creating an illusion of normalcy by deploying police personnel in a few areas,” said Sultan Hussain, a resident of North Tripura, and secretary of Tripura chapter of Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO).
APCR Secretary Nadeem Khan said that it doesn’t seem that the state government wants to end the violence as it hasn’t taken any concrete step yet. “The government is insisting that the situation is normal and continues to blame incidents in Bangladesh for the violence in the state. The irony is that so far 500 people have been arrested in Bangladesh, but the situation continues to be tense in Tripura,” he said.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Secretary Malik Moatasim Khan appealed to the government to bring the situation in control and provide compensation for the destruction of mosques and other properties. “The Muslims in the state should be provided security and those responsible for the violence and terror should be punished in order to bring peace to the state,” he said.