RANCHI: Around 20 Muslim families were forced to flee their homes in Koderma district of Jharkhand on Friday night. A mob attacked their homes around Iftar (breaking of fast) in the evening and assaulted several people including women. The mob also ransacked the mosque and assaulted the Muslims who were offering Maghrib prayer there.
The incident took place around 6:30 PM on Friday in the Kolgarma village under Koderma police station. There are 20 Muslim houses in the village of 250 houses. For the past couple of years, a group of local Hindus has been opposing construction of a mosque in the village.
In April last year, a mob had similarly attacked the Muslim residents and ransacked the mosque. The same was repeated on Friday at a larger scale. For past some time, they had been pressurizing the Muslims to withdraw their police complaints over the previous attack. In retaliation of the complaint, the Muslims have been facing village boycott for one year. They are not allowed to purchase anything from the village shops. They are not allowed to use even public well.
After the Friday night incident, the Muslims have filed another complaint with the police. According to the complaint, the attackers were armed with swords, axes and lathis. When Muslims were breaking fast in the mosque, a crowd of hundreds of people barged into the mosque and started beating the people. Several people were injured and rushed to the Sadar hospital. The rioters ransacked the mosque and even burnt the copies of Holy book. They were raising provocative slogans and asking Muslims to leave the village otherwise each one of them, men, women and children would be killed.
In the night itself, several terrorized families fled their homes and walked around 8 kilometers to reach the district headquarters. They took refuge in the campus of the district collector’s office.
In the complaint to the Police Commissioner, they have sought action against the attackers or rehabilitation of the affected Muslims to other place in Koderma.
In the complaint, they have named 26 people as attackers.
Only last month, in another village of the same Koderma district, a Muslim settlement was attacked by a mob over suspicion of consumption of beef at a wedding party. The father of the bridegroom was brutally assaulted and over two dozen homes his Muslim neighbors were ransacked.
In the last couple of years, several incidents of communal violence have taken place in the BJP-ruled Jharkhand. More than one dozen Muslims have been lynched in the name of cow, beef or child lifting. In March this year, a fast-track court had awarded life sentence to 11 persons including a BJP leader in the Ramgarh lynching case. Meat trader Alimuuddin Ansari was lynched in the daylight in Ramgarh in June last year.