Mosque set on fire in India’s national capital as right-wing pro-government channels blackout news


Hindutva zealots on Tuesday set a mosque in Delhi’s Ashok Nagar on fire after climbing atop its minaret to hoist a saffron flag bearing Lord Hanuman’s photo and name. This came as Delhi burnt with at least 20 people losing their lives in the communal riots.

Ashok Nagar
Photo: Journalist @iyersaishwarya of The Quint

Although journalists and prominent politicians shared the disturbing videos of Hindutva militants climbing on top of the mosque’s minaret, right-wing pro-government TV channels decided to blackout the news. Instead, some TV anchors were seen admonishing journalists and politicians for sharing the video, which they said was fake.

The Delhi Police too issued a statement denying that any mosque had been attacked or burnt. A Deputy Commissioner rank cop of the Delhi Police was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “Some false information/news item has been circulating regarding damage to a mosque in Ashok Vihar area. It is to clarify that no such incident has taken place in the area of Ashok Vihar. Please do not spread false information.”

However, the mosque in question was not in Ashok Vihar but in Ashok Nagar.

The news sent shockwaves across the world with global media prominently covering the development. A news report by Al Jazeera TV said, “A mosque was set on fire in the Indian capital on Tuesday by Hindu mobs, as several Muslim-populated areas in the city were attacked during three days of violence, which were triggered after attacks on sit-ins against a new citizenship law.”

This is how BBC reported the incident from the mosque site, “A small crowd of around a dozen people is standing outside a vandalised mosque in Ashok Nagar, one of the areas worst affected by the violence. The front of the green and white building is scorched. An Indian flag and a saffron flag, commonly associated with right-wing Hindu groups, are flying from one of the minarets.

“Torn pages from the Koran are strewn outside the building. Two young men are picking up the pages and putting them in a plastic bag.”

The anger against this ghastly act was seen on social media with many calling this a repetition of Babri Masjid demolition of 1992 when thousands of Hindus had brought down the 16th-century mosque in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the central government has refused to deploy the army to control the rapidly deteriorating situation.


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