In Gurgaon, a young deputy imam named Maulana Hafiz Saad, aged 19, who actively sought Hindu-Muslim harmony, was killed.
The mosque he was in, in the Millennium City suburb was deliberately set on fire. The incident occurred just an hour’s drive away from the Prime Minister’s residence in the capital.
In a video shared by a family member, Maulana Saad was seen reciting a prayer that emphasized unity between Hindus and Muslims, praying for a harmonious India. He served as the deputy imam at the Anjuman Jama Masjid, situated in Gurgaon’s Sector 57, a rapidly growing corporate hub housing offices of numerous multinational companies, and governed by the BJP in Haryana.
Originally from Sitamarhi in Bihar, Maulana Saad had joined the mosque only six months prior to the tragic event, according to the police.
The attack on the mosque occurred following communal violence in Haryana’s Nuh district, where four people, including two home guards, were killed, and several others injured during clashes triggered by a procession organized by the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
Around 45 to 50 miscreants attacked the Anjuman Jama Masjid, resulting in the death of Maulana Saad. The police have arrested some suspects in connection with the incident, and investigations are ongoing.
Subsequently, further violence erupted in Badshahpur, Gurgaon, where several shops, including biryani and meat shops, were set on fire by around 200 attackers who arrived on motorcycles and SUVs. The situation raises questions about the enforcement of Section 144, as a large group assembled despite the prohibition.
Prior to the violent incidents, hate-filled and provocative videos targeting Muslims circulated in the area, adding fuel to the fire and leading to communal disturbances.
The incident in Nuh has caused concern among political figures and analysts, who are troubled by the growing communal tensions in the region and call for peaceful coexistence between communities.
The former Jammu and Kashmir governor Satyapal Malik said the violence that began in Haryana’s Nuh and spread to different parts of the state was not spontaneous. According to him, the attacks in seven to eight different places were well-coordinated with the aim of creating a communal divide.
The whole country will burn like Manipur if these people are not contained,” he said. “Jats by culture or tradition believe in the Arya Samaj way of life and are not very religious in the traditional sense of the term. Neither are the Muslims of this area very traditional in their outlook. Therefore one has never heard of the two communities clashing in this manner ever since Independence. And these attacks will only increase in the run-up to 2024 as is evident in Manipur,” he said addressing a packed hall at the Constitution Club.