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India: Muslims see wave of attacks, hate speech on Hindu festival

In several Indian states, during the Hindu festival of Ram Navmi, mobs came out in processions making hate speech and attacking Muslim properties. The states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkjand and West Bengal reported violence during the festival on Sunday. 

The festival celebrates the birthday of the god Ram, a chief deity of right-wing Hindu groups in India. In some videos, Hindu men wearing saffron scarves and some carrying sticks or swords, stopped their motorcycles in Muslim neighborhoods and played provocative songs outside homes and mosques, along with raising hate slogans. In some areas, community members responded to the hate speech by throwing stones at the procession, creating more tension. Some of the worst rioting was reported from Khargone in Madhya Pradesh, more than 24 people were injured and a curfew was imposed in some areas of the district.

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