Muslim families flee Purola amid far-right Hindu groups’ threats

In the north Indian town of Purola, Muslim families have been forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods following threats from far-right Hindu groups. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal, both affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, issued these threats after an alleged kidnapping attempt involving a 14-year-old Hindu girl on May 26. The incident led to accusations of “love jihad,” an unproven conspiracy theory accusing Muslim men of luring Hindu women into relationships to convert them to Islam.

The May 26 event has been used by Hindu groups to intensify their movement to rid the Himalayan state of its Muslim community. Following the incident, Muslim shops were allegedly asked by government officials to close, and a rally calling for the expulsion of Muslims from the area took place on May 29. Muslim traders have approached the local administration for help, but their requests have been ignored.

Posters have appeared on Muslim-owned shops in Purola, warning them to leave before June 15, the day the VHP and Bajrang Dal have called for a “mahapanchayat” (grand meeting) in the town. Muslims have called their own “mahapanchayat” on June 18 in Dehradun to protest their targeting in Purola. Tensions have reportedly spread to adjacent towns and villages, with “X” signs appearing on the doors of some Muslim-owned shops in Barkot, reminiscent of the Nazi-era targeting of Jews.

Journalist Trilochan Bhatt blames the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allowing Hindu groups to hold rallies where open calls for violence against Muslims are made. He states that Uttarakhand was previously a peaceful state where Hindus and Muslims lived in harmony, but since the BJP government took power, the situation has become difficult for the Muslim minority.

However, the BJP’s national spokesman and senior Uttarakhand leader, Dushyant Kumar Gautam, rejects reports of a Muslim exodus from Purola, calling them “baseless.” He claims people are leaving the town due to their possible involvement in the “love jihad” case and that the government is monitoring the situation.

World News


Sara is a journalist and content writer who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics. Sara's journey in journalism began as a copywriter, and over time, her portfolio expanded to include articles and features for some of the nation's top lifestyle publications. Outside the office, she enjoys practising yoga and exploring hidden locations in Bangkok.

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