Right-Wing Group Members Raze 2 Mazars; Incident Livestreamed On Facebook
Haridwar: Members of Devbhoomi Raksha Abhiyaan, a right-wing group, chanted religious slogans as they demolished two mazars (tomb shrines) in Rishikesh.
The incident was livestreamed on Facebook, reported The Times of India.
In a viral video, a person is heard saying ‘these mazars in Rishikesh will not be spared… Rishikesh is a land of rishis, not a mazar bhoomi’. He then starts hammering the walls of one of the mazars.
According to eyewitnesses, the two tombs were demolished with JCB machines and hammers in the presence of some cops, and it was followed by hate speech.
Though the people involved in the act of vandalism are visible in the video, police have registered a case under IPC section 505 (committing an offence in any place of worship or in any assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship or ceremonies) against “unknown persons”
Devbhoomi Raksha Abhiyan head Darshan Bharti claimed they had obtained permission.
“We had written permission from owners of the land where the mazars were built to demolish them. Somebody had misled them into thinking that allowing mazars would bring prosperity to their homes,” he told TOI.
SP (rural) Kamlesh Upadhyay denied the presence of policepersons during the razing.
“The mazars were built on private land in Amit Gram in Rishikesh. Land owners gave their nod to remove it. But the demolishers neither informed police nor were cops present there. We have registered a case against unknown persons who streamed the incident live on Facebook which caused panic in the area. We are identifying them for further action,” the SP stated.
Minority community members demanded strict action against the accused.
“It is clearly an act of hate. They streamed it live and gave hate speech against us. Did they have police patronage? The administration must take action as per the law,” said Shadab Sabari, general secretary of Anjuman Gulam-a-Mustafa, a socio-religious group.