In the last four years, religious tension gradually increased in Chhapra, Bihar. For the test, see how this city, once located in the now famous Ram Sarmi district or Maha Shivaratri: the highlight of the festivities is large processions of young men wearing saffron headbands waving swords and shouting ” Jai Shri Ram “to a soundtrack of techno music.
Most of the songs, however, are not remotely religious, said Jeelani Mobin, head of Rashtriya Janata Dal Chhapra of Zilla Parishad. “Doodh maango, kheer dengay. Maango cheer dengay Kashmir”, goes a motto. “Make the milk and go to Kheer. Make Kashmir and let’s cut.”
In such a charged atmosphere, even small conflicts are common connotations. “Recently, a Muslim child killed a monkey bites passers-by,” said M. Mobin. “A village chief began to say” Hanuman was dead “and the conformation of a crowd quickly.”
In Wajidpur, a small village about half an hour from Chhapra, Shamsher Mohammad, 22, was stabbed by a group of Hindu boys on Holi Day, March 13. Shamsher died on the way to the hospital. Two days later, said his family of displacement. They still did not know why he was murdered. But what happened just after the stabbing, he said.
In the last four or five years, the Bajrang Dal, the muscular Hindutva network known as Sangh Parivar, has firmly established itself in this part of Bihar. If there is an incident in which Muslims, their members quickly reach the place. This is what happened on 13 March. Shamsher was stabbed six-thirty at night. About eight a troop of Bajrang Dal has gathered on the route to the Muslims 25 houses and mosque.
“They were on bikes,” said Manu Mohammad, a Muslim villager. “They wore swords and shouted,” Maro! AAG laga do! Masjid tod do! Miyan ko Kato, Babar ki aulaad! ”
“Kill them! Fire their houses! Demolish the Mosque Kill the Muslims, Babar’s children,” they shouted.
This is a recurring scene Wajidpur said Uncle Shamsher Mohammad Sayeed. In the last four years, the Bajrang Dal appeared every time there was a conflict between local Muslims and Hindus.
This is more or less the same in Chhapra. According to Mobin, two or three incidents are the local authorities almost every month. Most of the time, however, the local administration ensure that the tension does not become annoying. Even when it did, as in August, when the video of a young Muslim man who desecrated Hindu idols became viral, the damage was limited to fires and riots. This time the child’s home was attacked and at least 67 shops belonging to the Muslims were burned. But there were no deaths.
“The shape of things would have been burned if the administration was not so active,” Mobin said.
After Wajidpur of blows, police assured that the followers of Bajrang Dal did not exceed slogans.
However, this pattern of intimidation drove the Muslims of the city of Chhapra and surrounding villages in a state of constant fear. Older Hindus Wajidpur also looked worried. In the words of a Rajput man some Muslims in the village, “If I do not fix it quickly, there will be a revolt.”
“So there are two or three years, Saran people quoted as an example of communal harmony,” Mobin said. “There was peace here.”