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Hate Speech and Communal Unrest: CM’s Controversial Remarks Stoke Muslim Concerns in Uttarakhand

Hate Speech and Communal Unrest: CM’s Controversial Remarks Stoke Muslim Concerns in Uttarakhand

Communal tensions have erupted in Purola and some other towns in the district due to an unsuccessful elopement attempt involving two men, including one from a minority community, and a Hindu girl. The State Waqf Board of Uttarakhand has requested immediate action from CM Pushkar Singh Dhami to alleviate the fears of Muslims regarding the ongoing communal tensions arising from this “Love Jihad” case.

According to a Times of India report, shopkeepers are now receiving threatening phone calls after being warned to vacate their establishments. In the Purola area of Uttarkashi town, several posters have been put up, instructing Muslim shopkeepers to vacate their shops by June 15 or before the Mahapanchayath takes place. These posters contain threatening messages such as “The Love Jihadists are informed that they must vacate this space before June 15 or prepare to face the consequences.” In response, many Muslim shopkeepers have started closing their shops, even though Muslim organizations have called for a Mahapanchayath on June 18 under the leadership of Muslim Seva Sangathan (MSS).

Regarding the unrest in Uttarkashi, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami stated that authorities are working to maintain peace in the district. He emphasized that Uttarakhand is a peaceful state and that disturbances in law and order will not be tolerated. He further added, “Whether it’s love jihad or land jihad, we are working hard against it. Uttarakhand is a very peaceful state. The law and order situation here is good. We all live in harmony here and love each other. However, we will not tolerate anyone breaking the law or engaging in such activities.”

According to critics, the inclusion of the term “land jihad” in the Chief Minister’s statement is seen as hate speech and part of a broader conspiracy by Hindutva nationalists to target and vilify Muslims.

According to a report in Hindustan, Manmohan Talwal, the chief of the local traders’ body, has called for a market shutdown in Uttarkashi on June 2 and urged traders to participate in a procession to prevent a recurrence of such incidents in the area. However, Uttarkashi Superintendent of Police Arpan Yaduvanshi informed The Wire that no such procession took place in the area. He stated, “Everything is under control. The police have no information regarding anyone who has left the area.”

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