POLITICS

Attempt To Plant BJP Flag Atop Mosque Leaves Muslims Fearful In UP Village

"The men left the place but not before warning us that they would come armed with swords the next time."

17/03/2017 3:27 PM IST | Updated 17/03/2017 4:41 PM IST
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A group of men who were celebrating the Bharatiya Janata Party's victory in the recently concluded Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls reportedly tried to hoist the BJP flag atop a mosque in a village in Bulandshahr district on Wednesday night.

The Times of India reported today that the situation in the village remains tense and the police have been deployed to ensure that law and order is maintained. Mohsin Ahmad, a villager, told TOI that a procession of men with tilaks on their foreheads had tried to hoist a flag on the roof of the mosque around 9:30 pm on Wednesday.

The village of around 2,000 people reportedly has an equal number of Hindus and Muslims. While the police and the Provincial Armed Constabulary are present in the village, Furhan Ali, a resident, told the newspaper that the incident has struck fear in the Muslim community. "When the police arrived, the men left the place but not before warning us that they would come armed with swords the next time," he said.

It is unclear whether the men were BJP workers. The BJP has denied any involvement in the incident, attributing it to "anti-social elements."

Following a gruelling campaign fronted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP won more than 300 seats, its biggest victory in UP till date. The Hindu nationalist party scored major victories in Muslim-dominated areas loyal to either the Bahujan Samaj Party or the Samajwadi Party. The victory of BJP candidates in Muslim-dominated constituencies is attributed to the division of Muslim votes between the SP and the BSP.

In another disturbing incident earlier this week, posters appeared in a village in Bareilly district asking Muslim residents to "leave immediately." Meanwhile, one newly elected lawmaker of the BJP, Brijesh Singh, has said that he wants to rename the Muslim-majority constituency of Deoband to "Dev Vrand."

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