This Article is From Aug 02, 2023

Cow Vigilante's Video, Police Moves In Focus After Haryana Violence

Chaudhary Aftab Ahmed, the MLA from Haryana's Nuh, said authorities had been alerted to the brewing tension on social media.

Monu Manesar had declared his intention to participate in the rally.

New Delhi:

The deaths of at least six people, including two police personnel, in clashes between Hindus and Muslims that erupted on Monday around 50 km south of New Delhi, and simmered even a day later, have brought questions about the role of social media posts and alleged inaction on the part of the authorities in sharp focus.

The violence began after a Hindu religious procession passed through the Muslim-dominated Nuh district in Haryana state. While the situation remains tense, questions are being raised over the police's inaction, specifically regarding their failure to address the brewing tension on social media, the continued absence of an arrest, and their inability to anticipate communal unrest in a sensitive area.

The clashes have been blamed, in part, on a video posted on social media by Monu Manesar, a self-proclaimed 'gau rakshak' or cow vigilante accused of the murder of two Muslim cattle traders last year. Manesar's video, in which he declared his intention to participate in a religious event and urged others to join him, provoked a strong reaction from the Muslim community, with some members challenging and threatening Manesar in response.

Despite Manesar ultimately not attending the event, his post alone was enough to ignite tensions in the region. Chaudhary Aftab Ahmed, the MLA from Nuh, told NDTV, "I believe that it is a failure of the administration. Before the atmosphere got tense, we went to the authorities and told them they should take steps before it escalated. If the right steps were taken at the appropriate time, this would not have happened. The rumour that Monu Manesar is here also added to it."

Local government officials in both Nuh and Gurugram met with representatives of the Hindu and Muslim communities on Tuesday, appealing for calm. But Gurugram continued to experience unrest as mobs roamed the streets, setting fire to scrap shops and vandalizing small eateries, most of which belonged to Muslims.

Mobile internet services have been suspended in most of the district, and officials from the local administration in Nuh are investigating the cause of the initial standoff that sparked the violence.

Questions linger over why the police did not act on the brewing tension on social media, why Monu Manesar has not yet been found and arrested, and why they failed to anticipate communal tension in a sensitive area.