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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/3/21

USCIRF chief expresses concern over attacks on Muslims in India

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The chairperson of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has expressed concern over last week's attacks on Muslims in Tripura and urged the Union government to "stop violence against religious communities".

The violence took place during a rally taken out by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on October 26 in North Tripura in protest against the attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh. On Monday, USCIRF chairperson Nadine Maenza tweeted: "USCIRF is concerned about ongoing violence in #Tripura against #Muslims, which some regard as retaliation for attacks against #Hindus in #Bangladesh last month. The Indian government must stop violence against religious communities."

This was amplified by the USCIRF from its Twitter handle, as was a similar tweet by commission member Anurima Bhargava: "USCIRF is particularly alarmed about reports from #Tripura of mobs desecrating mosques & torching properties of #Muslims. The Indian govt must bring those responsible for instigating & engaging in religious violence to justice & must prevent further attacks."

US Congressman Concerned Over Hindu-Muslim Violence in Tripura & Bangladesh

Meanwhile, US Congressman Andy Levin has expressed concern over the communal clashes in Bangladesh and Indian state Tripura.

"I'm deeply concerned by news of continued violence between Hindus and Muslims in the Tripura state of India and in Bangladesh," Congressman Andy Levin said in a tweet.

Congressman also criticized the complacency of Tripura State Police and the role of extreme rightist Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which led the violent anti-Muslim marches.

According to Scroll, many of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad rallies in Tripura had been conducted with the permission of the administration.

"Provocative and brutal incitement by state and non-state actors against religious minorities must be condemned in the strongest terms," Levin said as he re-tweeted a story from The Washington Post in this regard.

Tripura govt. denies attacks on mosques

The Tripura government, ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has so far claimed that there is no communal tension anywhere in Tripura.

The Indian Express quoted Minister for Information and Cultural Affairs Sushanta Chowdhury as categorically denying reports of any mosque being set ablaze at Panisagar in North Tripura. The Minister alleged that a few vested interest groups from outside the state were involved in a conspiracy to tarnish the government's image.

Leaders of India's minority Muslim community say they have increasingly faced attack since the Hindu nationalist party came to power in 2014.

Tripura State Jamiat Ulama (Hind) and Tripura State Imams' Committee - two important Muslim religious organizations in the state - have expressed concern that a "microscopic group of miscreants" was trying to create communal unrest and malign Tripura and the government's image.

Submitting a memorandum to the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) on October 22, the Tripura State Jamiat Ulama (Hind) said different mosques and minority-dominated localities were being attacked.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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