The screening of a documentary on the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots at the Visva Bharati University (VBU) was stalled by police midway into the show in Kolkata, claiming they were apprehensive of a communal clash, organizers said today.
According to Kasturi Basu, Kolkata Chapter convenor of COR, the documentary showing at the university in Santiniketan in West Bengal’s Birbhum district yesterday was obstructed 45 minutes into its running time by the university’s security guards and local police.
“In four venues in Mumbai, Madurai, Trichy and Shantiniketan, police (tipped off by unnamed sympathizers of the BJP) stopped screenings of the film citing the usual bogeys of ‘law and order’ or ‘permissions’,” said Sanjay Joshi, national convener, Cinema of Resistance, in a statement.
The pan-India screening was a mark of protest against the “recent hooliganism by ABVP (right wing students’ body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) goons” who “forcefully stalled” the screening in Delhi University’s Kirori Mal College on August 1, organizers said. The screening was hindered in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) as well.
The documentary,”Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai” is made by Nakul Singh Sawhney and has been screened in at least 60 different venues across 50 cities in India on August 25 by Cinema of Resistance (COR), which promotes alternate cinema.
Muzaffarnagar, Mar 18, 2017: Pinki, a mother of two was allegedly poisoned to death by her in-laws in Muzaffarnagar as she couldn’t give bear a son, said the victim’s father.
The father of the child has also alleged that his daughter was being harassed for dowry by her in-laws and that her body was being secretly cremated without informing his family in the Jansath police station area, mentioned PTI.
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The police has stopped the cremation half-way on Friday, after getting information from neighbors. The police has arrested Pinki’s in-laws and registered a case against her husband who’s absconding.
Muzaffarnagar, Mar 10, 2017: Four aborted fetuses were found dumped in a dust bin in the town of Purkazi in Muzaffarnagar district, UP by the locals, as told by the police on Friday.
The fetuses have been sent for postmortem, and 3 amongst them are female fetuses, said Additional Chief Medical Officer B K Ojha.
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According to the PTI report, a team from the health department has begun inspections into this matter. The Police have suspected that the fetuses have been dumped by a clinic, and 2 clinics have been sealed for irregularities.
Nearly 400 families have migrated to Budhana village after the Muzzafarnagar riots in 2013
These muslim families feel like outsiders here due to their own community
Wearing of skull caps and growing beards have become prominent in the recent years in an effort to maintain identity and solidarity
Nearly 400 Muslim families are trying to build lives in the small town of Budhana, Uttar Pradesh after the Muzzafarnagar riots in 2013. However, these families, some of whom are dhobis, are largely seen as outsiders in their own families. The worst form of rejection that they experience is denial of ground space for burial of the dead. Burying the dead is seen as a very religious custom in Islam.
According to the Economic Times report, Graveyards have been a political issue in western Uttar Pradesh for a lot of years. The Samajwadi Party’s endeavors to build and beautify graveyards as part of the 300 crore project in 2012 as a poll promise has been marred by Sanjeev Baliyan who is using his MP funds to build crematoriums for Hindus.
The gram pradhan in Budhana had allotted land for a common graveyard, but this move wasn’t of much help, since people continued finding it hard to find burial space. Finding space was especially hard if one was a dhobi or a low born Muslim woman. These families had to dig up in places on their own, and they would often find graves of other people while digging, said the Economic Times report.
Today, graveyards are allotted to various muslim communities – Saifis, Ansaris, Qureshis, Kumbe,Abbasis, Sheikhs and others, but none for the families that have migrated from places of violence. These communities have to pay around 1000 to 2000 rupees, or settle with burying their loved ones on top of other graves, which is considered not as effective a practice.
In Bhainswal village, of Muzaffarnagar district, Muslims are disheartened by the fact that their graveyards are being taken over by the others. Cow dung, jaggery mounds and sometimes even garbage heaps are found in these graveyards, to the distress of the Muslims. Once home to around 500 families, barely 20 families reside in this village. Battles in the High Court are being fought to disallow the illegal encroachment of structures upon graveyard lands, said the Economic Times report.
Professor Sudhir Panwar, Member of Planning Commission, UP, had studied the migration in 2013 and its impact on the socio-economic dynamics of the population in the region. He told Economic Times that issue needs to be analyzed with utmost care since it affects not only politics, but also the social relations in the state. For example, wearing of skull caps and keeping beards, which has become a common sight now, was not a prominent practice earlier. It has only grown stronger in the recent years in an effort to retain identity.
-prepared by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @saurabhbodas96