A panchayat of members of Hindutva groups like Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Manesar town of Gurgaon district of the Indian state of Haryana has called for an “economic boycott of Muslim businesspersons”.
The panchayat held at a temple in Manesar was attended by nearly 200 people from not just Manesar but also Kasan, Dharuhera and Gurgaon areas of the state, Indian Express reported. The panchayat also gave a call to take up arms if incidents like the murders of a tailor in Udaipur and a chemist in Amravati occur again.
This is not the first call for the economic boycott of Muslims by Hindutva groups and supporters. Indian media has earlier reported on attacks on Muslim-owned shops by Hindutva groups across India, who have accused Muslim people attempting to earn a livelihood of ‘mehendi jihad’, ‘bangle jihad’, ‘narcotics jihad’, ‘economic jihad’ and even ‘juice jihad’.
Earlier this year, following the Karnataka government’s declaration in the state assembly that non-Hindus are not allowed to do business in and around temple premises, Muslim traders were widely reported as having being evicted from temple fares by Hindutva groups. In many situations, Hindutva activists destroyed Muslims’ shops and their wares too.
Similar to the claims in Karnataka, speakers at the Haryana panchayat said juice shops and salons run by Muslims in the area had “Hindu names and names of Hindu deities” and claimed that this was part of a conspiracy.
Panchayat attendees also submitted a memorandum for the deputy commissioner to a duty magistrate calling for the eviction of “illegal immigrants”, a term used for Muslims.
“Many Rohingya, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis are illegally staying in Gurgaon and Manesar by hiding their real identities,” Devender Singh, general secretary, VHP Manesar, also said at the panchayat. He claimed that economic boycott is the only solution and claimed Muslims’ shops are not meant for business but are a part of “jihad” or religious warfare.
Many others at the panchayat reiterated this call for an economic boycott, asking attendees to stop renting to Muslims, buying fruit from Muslims’ shop, or getting haircuts in Muslim-owned salons. The panchayat attendees also asked that an FIR lodged against those involved in a rally on Friday, July 1, at Gurugram, in which anti-Islam remarks were made, be cancelled.
Police told Indian Express that the panchayat was peaceful and did not directly answer if it had given permission for such a gathering.
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