Four people were injured in Jamua village of East Champaran district in Bihar when a group of Bharatiya Janata Party supporters taking out a victory procession allegedly vandalised a mosque and pelted stones at it, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. Those injured were praying inside the mosque at the time of the alleged assault.
Three people reportedly received head injuries, apart from injuries on their backs, and have been admitted to a hospital for treatment, according to The Wire. One person received injuries to his nose. Several vehicles were also vandalised, and the loudspeaker of the mosque and its two gates were allegedly broken.
Abhay Kumar, station house officer of the Dhaka police station, told The Wire that a first information report has been registered and two people have been arrested in the case so far. The FIR was registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to unlawful assembly, armed with deadly weapon, injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class, and attempt to murder.
The incident took place on Wednesday, when a scuffle broke out between the BJP supporters and local villagers, who objected to them shouting victory slogans during the maghrib, or evening prayers. Jamua predominantly has a Hindu population, with only 20-25 Muslim families living in the village.
Station House Officer Kumar told The Indian Express that BJP workers took out a procession soon after the results were announced in favour of Pawan Kumar Jaiswal, who won the Dhaka seat by defeating Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Faisal Rahman. Jaiswal, however, was not part of the procession.
“A heated exchange broke out when the procession was asked not to raise slogans on loudspeakers during maghrib time,” Kumar added. “A scuffle took place and people in the procession, who were large in number, started pelting stones.”
Mazhar Alam, the caretaker of the mosque, told The Wire that a group of about 500 people stormed the mosque and threw stones at the structure while the maghrib prayers were underway. “They broke its gates, its microphone – all while chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’,” he added.