Amnesty Urges India to Stop Demolishing Muslim Mosques and Property

By Gamal Khattab February 15, 2024 1089

Repression of Muslims and Demolition of Their Homes

Amnesty International has raised concerns about the treatment of Muslims in India, specifically the arbitrary and punitive demolitions of their homes and shops. These demolitions are being carried out without proper legal justification and are seen as a form of collective punishment.

Displacement and Deprivation

As a result of these demolitions, many Muslims have been displaced from their homes or have lost their sources of income. The lack of adherence to legal procedures has caused significant harm to the Muslim community.

JCB Bulldozers and "Bulldozer Justice"

Amnesty International has found that JCB bulldozers are commonly used in these demolition operations. In fact, the term "JCB" has become a general term for bulldozers in India. The organization has conducted interviews with victims of demolitions in five states across India, highlighting the popularity of JCB machines in these punitive demolitions.

Political Support and Celebrations

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its supporters have welcomed and celebrated these demolitions. In fact, a BJP spokesperson referred to JCB bulldozers as a "jihadist monitoring board" in a now-deleted tweet. Amnesty International calls on JCB to publicly condemn the use of its bulldozers for these punitive demolitions and to reject hate.

Responsibility of JCB

Amnesty International emphasizes that JCB cannot evade responsibility for the human rights violations committed by Indian authorities using its equipment. The company must take a stand against these actions.

Punishment Following Sectarian Violence

Between April and June 2022, Amnesty International researchers found that demolitions were viewed as a form of punishment in five states ruled by the BJP and in Delhi, ruled by the Aam Aadmi Party. These demolitions followed incidents of sectarian violence or protests against discrimination faced by Muslims.

Investigation and Impact

Amnesty International conducted a detailed investigation into 63 of the 128 documented demolitions. They interviewed over 100 survivors, legal experts, journalists, and community leaders. The investigation revealed at least 33 cases of repeated use of JCB equipment. Additionally, it was found that 617 individuals, including men, women, children, and the elderly, were left homeless or deprived of their means of livelihood. These actions violated their rights to non-discrimination, adequate housing, and a fair trial.

Source: Amnesty International