Protest Meeting in Patna against Communal Attacks during Ram Navami Processions

A protest meeting was organised in Patna on 2 April to oppose communal designs of BJP and perpetrated riots and attacks on minority community using the pretext of Ram Navami processions in many towns of Bihar and other states. CPIML activists assembled at Buddha Smriti Park to condemn the recent communal violence in Bihar Sharif, Sasaram and other places. They also condemned police repression that let loose on the muslim community members.

The protest was led by CPIML Polit Bureau member Swadesh Bhattacharya, Mahboob Alam, KD Yadav, Kamlesh Sharma and others. The speakers condemned BJP’s designs and said that it intends to further communal polarisation before the 2024 Parliamentary elections. They also criticise Home Minister Amit Shah whose Bihar visit amidst riots is only meant to boost morale of rioters. The BJP has been thrown out of power in Bihar is now making desperate attempts to spread frenzy in order to divide the society and communalise polity. BJP and its various outfits are even poisoning innocent teenagers’ minds with venomous communal divisive ideas, which is a serious concern for all democratic and peace loving people.

The speakers also criticised the Bihar government for the latter's inadequate measures in containing communal forces. They appealed to the people to foil communal designs and maintain peace and harmony.

Earlier a CPIML teams visited the riot affected Bihar Sharif and Sasaram. Mahboob Alam, Gopal Ravidas, Kumar Parvez and Surendra Ram visited Bihar Sharif, and another team of Arun Singh, Nandkishore Paswan, Ravi Shankar Ram and Kaisar Nihal visited Sasaram. A press conference was later addressed by Mahboob Alam, Gopal Ravidas and Arun Singh. They said that the riots that took place this year again on the occasion of Ram Navami were undoubtedly a result of a well planned conspiracy. The situation in Bihar Sharif was more severe where 10-12 years old kids were made to wield swords who were shouting provocative slogans against muslims. The administration hadn’t taken timely action to prevent the clashes, riots, arsoning and looting. The houses were ransacked, vehicles and many houses set on fire, mostly of poor muslims. A college and a hundred year old Madarsa along with religious books and educational documents were burnt down to ashes, while a saffron flag was installed on an adjoining mosque. Hundreds of shops, City Palace and Asia Hotels were burnt down. The ensuing clashes also resulted in burning down of some shops belonging to the majority community. The people, mostly muslims are living in fear.

The CPIML team also met with the DM of Bihar Sharif and demanded an investigation into the role of local BJP MLA and Superintendent of Police. They also criticised the administration for the arrest of many muslim youths who are actually victims, while actual rioters are still at large. The CPIML leaders’ apprehensions of administrative laxity proved true when the situation was further deteriorated.

Comrade Mahboob Alam has later requested CM Nitish Kumar to intervene in order to prevent communal elements from further escalating the tension.

In Sasaram too targeted sloganeering and abuses hurled on the muslim community members. The Chiktoli mosque was attacked on 31 March religious books were destroyed. In Shah Zalal Peer area Daud Kuraishi’s vehicle was set on fire. The shop of one Usman Kuraishi was burnt down. Shahjaad Kuraishi and Shamshad Khatun’s houses were burnt. Many more places were attacked. The Mazar of Phulan Shah was also damaged.

The CPIML has appealed to the people of Bihar to expose rumour mongers and maintain harmony, and unite to give a befitting reply to the venomous divisive communal forces.