SRINAGAR/KOLKATA: Authorities in India’s Uttar Pradesh state have demolished the homes of several people accused of involvement in riots last week triggered by derogatory remarks made by ruling party figures about Holy Prophet (PBUH), officials said on Sunday.
In IIOJK, police arrested a youth for posting a video threatening to behead the ruling party’s former spokeswoman who had made some of the remarks, officials said. The video, circulated on YouTube, has been withdrawn by authorities.
Muslims have taken to the streets across India in recent weeks to protest against the anti-Islamic comments by two members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Clashes have broken out between Muslims and Hindus and in some cases between protesters and police in several areas. Police in Uttar Pradesh arrested more than 300 people in connection with the unrest.
Some in India’s minority Muslim community see the comments as the latest instance of pressure and humiliation under BJP rule on issues ranging from freedom of worship to the wearing of hijab head scarves.
Over the weekend the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state, Yogi Adityanath, ordered officials to demolish any illegal establishments and homes of people accused of involvement in riots there last week, the BJP’s state spokesperson said.
The house of an alleged mastermind of the riots, whose daughter is a female Muslim rights activist, was demolished amid a heavy police presence on Sunday. Properties of two more people accused of throwing stones after Friday prayers were also demolished in the state. Mrityunjay Kumar, Adityanath’s media adviser, tweeted a photo of a bulldozer demolishing a building and said “Unruly elements remember, every Friday is followed by a Saturday.”