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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Row over Hijab demo: Bajrang Dal charges conversion bid; Nagpur top cop says no offence booked

Bajrang Dal called called the hijab demo an “attempt to Talibanise” and warned that they are capable of taking “care” of the miscreants if the police did not take action.

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Nagpur |
Updated: September 5, 2021 8:31:55 pm
Bajrang dal, hijab, Nagpur, Civil Lines, world hijab day, indian express, indian express news, nagpur news, current affairsThe city's top police officer said no offence has been registered. (File)

The Bajrang Dal filed a complaint with police, accusing a group of young Muslim women of attempting to convert Hindu women following a verbal duel between a group of men and a group of 55 young Muslim women, who were showing some non-Muslim women how to wear hijab on the occasion of World Hijab Day in Nagpur’s Civil Lines area Saturday morning.

The city’s top police officer said no offence has been registered.

“The Muslim girls were accompanied by some men, who were standing near vehicles they had parked. When a group of men confronted the girls, the men accompanying the girls fled on the vehicles,” the Bajrang Dal alleged in its complaint.

When contacted, Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar said, “There was no use of force by the Muslim girls’ group, and girls receiving the demo had no problem with it. No offence has been registered in this connection.”

Bajrang Dal called it an “attempt to Talibanise” and warned that they are capable of taking “care” of the miscreants if the police did not take action.

A video of the incident that has emerged on social media shows the group of Muslim women being confronted by a group of men, who can be heard purportedly asking them why they were demonstrating wearing hijab, and remarking that they would next get “get them (non-Muslim women) married, too”. The video shows the women saying, repeatedly, “Ask the girls if we were forcing them to do it.”

The non-Muslim women, the video shows, were purportedly trying to explain that they were looking at the demo on their own, and that no one had forced them.

The video shows the men thereafter purportedly telling the non-Muslim women that their parents would not approve of it, on which the latter replied, “They won’t have any problem. Please leave it. It’s no big deal.”

In an appeal issued later, the city police said, “In respect of the alleged incident of distribution of hijab to girls on Walkers Street on Hijab Day…it is informed that a few citizens had raised concern and reported the matter to police. A detailed inquiry was conducted. The girls and their parents have tendered a written apology mentioning that the girls were providing information regarding Hijab Day…on a voluntary basis, and their intention was not to incite any religious hatred and no forceful means were used. Further inquiry is on.”

The police also appealed people to “exercise restraint and avoid forwarding videos, messages, posts or any content that may incite communal hatred and disturb communal peace and harmony”.

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