Hindu supremacist leader claims brutal assault on Muslim man, no action against her
A mob led by a prominent Hindu far-right leader Aastha Ma brutally assaulted and shaved the head of a Muslim man in Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Uttar Pradesh state.
In a video that went viral on social media, a mob is seen abusing, torturing, and shaving the head of Shahrukh Khan, who was accused of stealing 100 rupees ($1 approx). The same video was posted on Facebook by Aastha Ma.
यह कैसी अराजकता है? नरसिंहानंद की शिष्या आस्था मां ने एक मुस्लिम लड़के शाहरुख को बेरहमी से मारते हुए और उसका मुंडन करते हुए वीडियो डाला है। कैप्शन की घिनौनी हँसी, सीएम आदित्यनाथ की कड़क कानून व्यवस्था के दावों पर तमाचा है। pic.twitter.com/uQP1uOx8OT
— Vipul Kumar (@vipulizm) March 6, 2023
Taking responsibility for the incident, Aastha Ma wrote on her Facebook page, which has 2.6 K followers, “today, one Shahrukh Khan has been caught; he had a razor in his pocket, used by barbers. He was beaten up by people, but I told them to shave his head instead, and he was tortured then, very beautiful. Will you not congratulate me?”
Her post was followed by emoticons representing joy. No police action has been taken against her.
Aastha has a long history of inciting and participating in violence against religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Hindu militant groups target churches over false allegations of forced conversion
Members of Hindu militant groups Bajrang Dal and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) barged into two churches in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh state and falsely accused worshippers of conducting forced religious conversions.
According to media reports, six Christians were detained, out of which two were later arrested.
Location: Shyam Nagar, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Vishwa Hindu Parishad members forced their entry into a house and accused the Christian occupants of “forced religious conversions.”
Police took six people in custody. pic.twitter.com/oj3i6sOJyU
— HindutvaWatch (@HindutvaWatchIn) March 6, 2023
These attacks come at a time when civil society members have been sounding the alarm over a “climate of fear” among the Christian community, which they say are being targeted through the weaponization of anti-conversion laws.
Uttar Pradesh is one of several BJP-ruled states with such stringent laws, which critics say are used to target Christians and interfaith couples and infringe on people’s right to convert.
On March 4, former civil servants wrote to Prime Minister Modi about attacks against the Christian community, noting that incidents of violence have risen sharply in the past few years.
Modi government locks Kashmir’s Jamia Masjid on auspicious occasion
In brazen violation of religious freedom, the Hindu supremacist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi have barred prayers at Kashmir’s historic Jamia Masjid on an auspicious occasion.
“Locking up the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on Shab-e-Barat is a brazen violation of fundamental rights and religious freedom guaranteed by the Indian Constitution,” said Prominent Kashmiri leader and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Police officials locked the mosque gates in the evening and ordered that prayers would not be allowed to take place.
The mosque committee tweeted that it “strongly protests the highhandedness of the authorities and calls it blatant interference and violation of our religious rights.”
The committee head Dr. Moulvi Muhammad Umar Farooq continues to be under illegal and arbitrary house detention since 5 August 2019.