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Aug 1, 2023, 4:49pm EDT
South Asia

India faces deadly communal clashes and a fatal police shooting

Haryana protests
REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
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The News

At least five people are dead and 60 injured following violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims in the north Indian state of Haryana.

The violence first broke out in Haryana’s Nuh district on Monday after a Hindu religious procession passed through a predominantly Muslim area. Authorities have not yet determined what prompted the initial outbreak of violence. The deadly clashes then spread to Gurugram, outside the capital of Delhi.

The internet has been shut down in the area in an effort to block miscommunication and suppress more organized violence. Footage from the scenes show multiple arson incidents.

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We’ve curated reporting and analysis about the situation in Haryana and the global rise of Hindu nationalism.

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Insights

  • Rumors of the presence of a Hindu nationalist figure wanted by police for allegedly murdering two Muslims may have sparked the violence during Monday’s procession. Monu Manesar, a member of the Bajrang Dal nationalist military group and a so-called cow vigilante, suggested on social media that he would take part in the procession. Muslim groups in the area warned of “consequences” should Manesar participate. But police said that he was not part of the demonstrations. — The Economic Times
  • On the same day, a fatal shooting by a police officer on a train to Mumbai underscored the rise of sectarian violence in India. Authorities say that a 33-year-old train security officer killed a colleague and three Muslim passengers on the train. Graphic cellphone video of the aftermath appears to have caught the officer saying in Hindi that to live in India you have to vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The shooting and the Haryana clashes are “uncoordinated and unrelated, but hardly uncommon in India,” The New York Times wrote.
  • While there are “striking parallels” between right-wing violence in India and the U.S., one significant difference is that where most American white supremacist attacks are perpetrated by lone individuals, “the surge of Hindu-supremacist violence has become a nationally organized collective effort,” Priti Gulati Cox and Stan Cox wrote for TomDispatch.com.
  • Right-wing Hindu groups are also targeting the Indian diaspora in the U.S. Social media campaigns are harassing and doxing U.S.-based activists who are critical of Modi or are pushing for legislation like banning caste discrimination. Misinformation on WhatsApp channels are aimed at encouraging Indian Americans to support Hindu nationalist agendas and movements. — NBC News
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