Communal Violence in Chhapra, Bihar , scores of shops torched

Local Bajrang Dal leaders ransacked and burnt down shops belonging to Minority community after controversial Facebook post was published by one local boy


7th Aug 2016 TH Staff
NEW DELHI — Violence broke out in Chhapra, Bihar on Saturday with attacks on Muslim homes and shops being reported after an ‘objectionable’ video-photo was circulated widely on the social media site Facebook, according to media reports.
Two people have been arrested by the police for instigating unrest in the region in Saran district.
Deputy Inspector General of Police has set up camp in the region to control the growing agitation, according to NewsX.

According to On Friday afternoon, members of the local Bajrang Dal unit ransacked and burnt down the house of a boy in the village of Maker, 10 kms from Chhapra town, after they were informed that the boy, who currently lives in Bangalore, had allegedly uploaded derogatory images of Hindu gods on his Facebook account.

By evening, the protests by Bajrang Dal had reached Chhapra town. By 7 pm, a group of 200 men including ex-MLA Udit Rai, marched on to the streets of the town calling for a Bandh on Saturday. The mob also asked people to join the march at the Nagar Palika Chowk for the march. During this entire time, locals allege that the police remained silent spectators.

On Saturday, almost all in the district decided to observe the Bandh, including Muslims, in order to avoid any communal tension. Ghaus Mohammed, who owns a shoe store in Hathua Market, told he had decided to stay back home on the day. “All shops, including the ones owned by Muslims, remained shut the entire day as no one wanted to take a risk,” he says. However, in the minority-dominant area of Khanua, some shops opened after the first few hours of the bandh. “Some tea shops, along with sweet shops, opened up and this irked the Bajrang Dal protesters. Within the next few minutes, there were clashes followed by the protesters throwing crude bombs and firing bullets. This left almost a dozen people with minor injuries, and several shops severly damaged in the area.

However, the vandalism on the part of the mob, which numbered around 2,000, did not stop. Over the next hour or so, they attacked and looted several shops, all belonging to Muslims, in the areas of Hathua, Tinkunia and Sahebganj.

The Jama Masjid in the region of Tinkunia was also vandallised; with the mosque door burnt down along with vehicles inside the compound. In the surrounding areas, over 10 shops owned by Muslim men were vandalised and looted, say the locals.
Ghaus Mohammed, whose shop was also severely vandalised, said he had suffered a loss of Rs 45,000.
The mobs also did not spare the shop of local RJD president Balagul Mobin, said Ghaus.

The police, say the locals, remained mute spectators during the entire period.
It is being reported that the social media post might have had something to do with religion.
After the video went viral on social media, authorities temporarily banned internet services in the area such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter


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