UN Secretary General Calls For India To Respect All Religions, Condemns Hate Speech
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujarric stated during a daily briefing that Guterres stands against “any sort of hate speech” in India. Dujarric was responding to a reporter’s question, asking for the Secretary General’s stance on “the high tension” in India raised by the hate speech of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma, who made offensive and blasphemous remarks about Prophet Muhammad.
Dujarric stated that Guterres “is for the full respect of religion, for calling against any sort of hate speech or incitement and, of course, a halt to any sort of violence, especially one based on perceived religious differences and hatred.”
While Sharma has since been suspended from the party, Muslims across India have staged protests calling for her arrest. However, police have responded with a violent crackdown, detaining hundreds of Muslims, beating protesters, and even resorting to gunfire in one instance.
Police Crackdown On Muslims Continues in UP, Bengal, Jharkhand, Gujarat
The arrest count of Muslims who protested against Nupur Sharma’s hate speech continues to increase in Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Jharkhand, and Gujarat states in an attempt to criminalize Muslims for exercising their right to dissent.
“No one will be spared,” said Jawed Shamim, West Bengal’s Additional Director General of Police. “We will identify everyone and take strict action.”
So far, 200 Muslims have been arrested in West Bengal, 350 in Uttar Pradesh, 29 in Jharkhand, and 10 in Gujarat. This is in stark contrast to the scarce number of Hindu supremacists who were arrested during a number of violent Hindu extremist rallies held in April, during which Hindu mobs attacked Muslim homes and properties while armed with swords, rocks, and sticks.
Police Brutally Beat Muslim Men In Viral Video Of Custodial Torture
As police in Uttar Pradesh state’s Saharanpur district continue to arrest Muslims for protesting against Nupur Sharma’s hate speech, viral videos of custodial torture have surfaced, showing Muslim men being brutally beaten by Hindu extremist police.
The mother of one of the men, Mohammad Ali, said that she was able to identify her son’s torture from the video. “They are being called miscreants. His hands are swollen [from the beatings],” she said.
The sister of another victim, Mohammad Saif, said that when the family had met him in prison, “we saw that his hands are swollen and his legs have marks which show injuries. They are being denied water and treatment.”
Police have denied any wrongdoing despite the circulation of the videos.
Jharkhand Police Put Muslims At Risk Of Public Attacks By Publicizing Names, Faces Of Protesters
After demands from Jharkhand state governor Ramesh Bais, police have put up posters with the names and faces of Muslim protesters who called for the arrest of Nupur Sharma, putting them and their families in danger of being harmed by Hindu extremist vigilante groups. Bias has been a long-standing BJP leader and Hindu extremist, and formerly served as Federal Minister.
Shortly after protests in Ranchi city, during which two Muslims including a 15-year-old child were shot dead by police, Bais had demanded to know why law enforcement officials had not used more excessive force against Muslims.
“Find out details of all protestors and those who have been caught, make their names/addresses public, make their hoardings by displaying their photographs at main places in the city so that [the] public could also identify them and help police,” Bais told officials.
Yogi Adityanath, Israel Ambassador Discuss Militarization Of Uttar Pradesh Police
In an alarming development, Israeli ambassador Naor Gilon met with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a vitriolic Hindu supremacist, in order to strengthen ties between Israel and Uttar Pradesh.
During this meeting, Israel agreed to aid in “modernizing” the Uttar Pradesh police, which would result in heightened police brutality against Muslims and other minorities. Israel’s militarized police force is known for inflicting brutal and wanton violence against Palestinians, including by arresting Palestinian children.
Hindu supremacists are often openly supportive of Israel, an apartheid state that has been ethnically cleansing the region of Palestinians for decades. The parallels between Uttar Pradesh and Israel’s use of bulldozers to punish vulnerable communities is chilling.