Tripura sectarian riots Five children in madrassa also scared

 Tripura sectarian riots Five children in madrassa also scared

Tripura sectarian riots Five children in madrassa also scared

Tripura sectarian riots Five children in madrassa also scared

A scene from the violence in Rowa

A total of five children are trying to study in a small government madrassa but there is fear on their faces.

After a while they peek out the window and then an elderly teacher starts looking at us.

The old teacher asked us, "Is everything alright, sir? Is there something wrong?"

Adjacent to the madrassa is a small mosque that now looks deserted

The windows of its three-foot-long windows are shattered, the feathers hanging from the ceiling are bent in all directions, and about half a dozen skylights have been shattered by the impact of rocks.

Behind the mosque is a Muslim family and in front is the house of a Hindu family.

The doors of both the houses may not have been opened due to a head constable of Tripura police who followed them during the coverage of the BBC team.

This is the Chamtila area of ​​Dharamnagar district in the northeastern Indian state of Tripura, where sectarian violence has recently erupted for the first time.

What happened, why did it happen?

In October 2021, during the Hindu festival of Durga Puja, violence against Hindus erupted in many parts of India's neighboring country Bangladesh.

It started from Kamila town of Chittagong district. Shortly afterwards, the Bangladeshi government warned India and gave confidence and comfort to the Hindu minority.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, "India has done a lot for us and we are grateful for it. There should not be anything that affects our country and harms our country's Hindu community."

But the effects of the violence were immediately felt in the Indian state of Tripura, which is bordered on three sides by the Bangladesh border.

Within about ten days, news started coming from Gomti district that 'some unknown persons had set fire to a mosque', followed by reports of 'unsuccessful attempts to attack mosques' by soldiers from Jala district.

Meanwhile, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, the largest Muslim organization in the state, met Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and warned that there was a threat to peace between the .

Violent incidents in Rowa

One and a half kilometers from Chamtila Mosque is Rowa town, where the mob set fire to at least five shops.

Although the "protest rally" and the administration initially acknowledged that only two shops had been damaged, the BBC visited all five shops to confirm this.

The names of those whose shops have been completely or half burnt are Amir Hussain, Muhammad Ali Talkdar, Snoohar Ali, Nizamuddin and Amiruddin.

Amiruddin said, "There was vandalism and looting in front of us, then fire was started. We were standing here in front of the mosque. We could have come but the police said stop, stop."

Kadam Tala

Amiruddin said

Amiruddin's shop has been burnt to ashes, and there is a burnt refrigerator inside.

Snoohar Ali is also a resident of Rawa and he says that when the violence took place we were standing behind another mosque nearby.

"When the mob could not get there, they attacked the shop in a rage, first setting the shop on fire and then setting the adjoining shop on fire, which started a fire here," he said. These are shoes, clothes, bags and umbrellas that are completely burnt.

According to eyewitnesses, the district administration had already deployed seven to eight policemen in the area to ensure that no untoward incident took place but "maybe that was not enough."

What happened in Kadam Tala?

Locals in Dharamnagar district say news of a fire at the Chamtila Mosque and minority shops in Panisagar spread like wildfire on social media.

And then the vehicles of the administration and fire brigade started moving but the people of the Muslim community started protesting in the neighboring Kadam Tala assembly constituency.

At about 10 o'clock that night, a mob also gathered in the town of Chorai Bari near Kadam Tala and pelted stones at the houses of some Hindu families.

One of them was Sonali Saha's house and her car windows were broken.

"I was reading that suddenly some people came and attacked. We were not even able to get out. It was so noisy. Mother closed the door and in five or ten minutes everything was calm," said Sonali. We could not even step. There were many pieces of glass scattered. I was terrified because I had encountered it for the first time and I am still terrified. "

Kadam Talha MLA Islamuddin belongs to the CPM party and said, "It is true that there was anger in the Muslim community in the area after the Panisagar incident and we were trying our best to prevent any untoward incident." Don't come

Violent incidents in Rowa

Violent incidents in Rowa

al-Din, a victim of corruption

He said: "Initially, the police administration was not active and only after the Panisagar violence did the administration become active. After the Panisagar rally, we started protests in Kadam Tala, Kailash town of Anakoti district, Dharam Nagar and Yuvraj Nagar. Since then, the police administration has become active.

Questions have also been raised over the role of the administration in the wake of sectarian tensions in three districts of Tripura.

There are allegations that in almost every case the proceedings were slow and the arrest of the accused was delayed.

Tripura (North) Superintendent of Police Bhanupada Chakraborty denied all the allegations and told the BBC: There is a case and the matter is still under investigation. As far as action is concerned, we have arrested the suspects without any discrimination.


Adjacent to Tripura is the 856 km long border of Bangladesh but the violence of the Muslim majority in Bangladesh has not had much effect here except for a few demonstrations.

Violent clashes between Bengalis and tribals took place in Tripura in 1980, involving both Hindus and Muslims.

In the 2018 Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party defeated the CPM-led left-wing government. Earlier, the state had a left-wing government for 25 years.

Opposition parties have stated that since the BJP came to power in the state, sectarian harmony has been weakened.

The BBC asked the same question to Tripura Assembly Deputy Speaker and Dharamnagar MLA Biswa Bandhu Sen and asked if the Muslim community was scared.

Biswa Bandhu Sen said: 'No, it is not like that at all. After the BJP came to power, Muslims realized that they would not be harmed. We are talking about people who are against Modi, against the BJP, against Biplab Debji, because of whom sectarian divisions have star..

Sonali Saha and her mother

Two weeks after the Panisagar violence, the Tripura government arrested two female journalists for allegedly posting provocative material.

But within two days, a Tripura court ordered the release of the two journalists who had gone there to cover sectarian violence.

We asked senior BJP leader Biswa Bandhu Sen when journalism became a crime. If journalists are doing their duty, taking pictures and testimonies, then detaining them without any charges, is this democracy?

Without directly answering this question, Biswa Bandhu Sen said: 'Democracy is being taken full advantage of by just journalists and not by political parties. Many people are running fake news, is this democracy? There are some newspapers, there are writers, they are always spreading something.

But what you see on the ground is very different from the claims.

The fact is that these events have shaken Tripura. Those who have witnessed the violence up close and those who are proud of the fact that never before in the history of independent India has there been sectarian violence in the state of Tripura have been shaken.

We asked Bajit Rai, president of the Panesagar unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and one of the organizers of the 'Prativad Rally': 'Are they sorry for that?

After a pause of about ten seconds, he said: 'Very sorry, very much. We will make sure that this does not happen again in the next hundred years.

A total of five children are trying to study in a small government madrassa but there is fear on their faces.

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