New Delhi: A video allegedly showing a group of people taking an “oath” to boycott Muslims is being probed by the Chhattisgarh Police.
According to the police, the video — which has gone viral on social media — was recorded in Kundikala village of Surguja district, on 5 January. It shows a huge gathering of people speaking in Hindi, purportedly taking a pledge to not buy anything from Muslims or sell anything to them.
“We Hindus pledge not to buy any item from a Muslim shopkeeper and not to sell them anything. We pledge to not sell or give our lands on lease to Muslims. If anyone has sold or given their land on lease, we will get it back. We also pledge to not work as labourers for them,” the villagers are purportedly heard repeating after an unidentified man in the video.
They also appear to say: “We Hindus pledge to buy from vendors coming to our villages only after ascertaining their religion, and not buy anything from Muslims.”
This video is from Surguja in Chhattisgarh where some Hindutva people are taking oath.
We Hindus will not buy goods from any Muslim shopkeeper.
We Hindus will not sell or rent our land to any Muslim.
We hindu will not work with Muslims. Is Tarah se nafrat failayi ja rahi hai pic.twitter.com/rvekkMdnGD
— Rubina Afaque (@RubinaAfaqueIND) January 6, 2022
Ajay Kumar Yadav, inspector general (IG) of Surguja range, told ThePrint that he has directed a police team to probe the matter and register a case against the instigator. He denied the involvement of any political party or religious group in the incident.
“It was a matter of a clash between a group of boys from Hindu and Muslim communities earlier this month. After the clash, a case was registered against the culprits and they were sent to jail. From what we have found out till now, a person from the village had gathered the villagers and made them take the oath,” IG Yadav said.
“We had sent additional SP, SDM and DSP to the village where they met the residents and talked to them. The current situation is peaceful, and an investigation regarding the video has started. Villagers said they had made a mistake and it was unintentional,” he added.
The district’s superintendent of police (SP) Amit Kamble told ThePrint that the police got hold of the video on 6 January, and initiated the investigation soon after.
“We first had to identify the authenticity of the video and the place. The investigation is in its concluding stage, and appropriate action will be initiated against the culprit soon,” he added.
Anger on social media
The video has sparked outrage on social media. Senior advocate Indira Jaising tweeted: “We must all note and be aware that this amounts to untouchability under Article 17 of India forbidden by law.”
We must all note and be aware that this amounts to untouchability under Article 17 of india forbidden by law https://t.co/BErbLFDqez
— Indira Jaising (@IJaising) January 7, 2022
Filmmaker Onir directed his tweet to the state police, the Bhupesh Baghel government and ruling Congress, asking “how these people had permission for a public gathering to instigate hate and divisive ideology”. Several others implored the state government and district administration to take action.
@CG_Police @Surguja_police how do these people have permission for having a public gathering to instigate hate and divisive ideology @bhupeshbaghel @ChhattisgarhCMO @SevadalCG @INCIndia @INCChhattisgarh https://t.co/wVqrel00z6
— অনির Onir اونیر ओनिर he/him (@IamOnir) January 7, 2022
(Edited by Gitanjali Das)