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Muslim Traders Flee After Mob Vandalizes Shop Over False Cow Slaughter Claims in HP’s Nahan

Communal unrest has erupted in Nahan, Himachal Pradesh, following the mob attack on a Muslim man’s shop over false allegations of cow slaughter. Police investigations have revealed that Javed, the shopkeeper, had slaughtered a legally permitted buffalo, not a cow, but the incident has nonetheless led to heightened tensions.

Muslim leaders in Nahan have reported that Muslim traders are being forced to flee after a mob vandalized and looted Javed’s shop in the presence of police. Javed, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, was not in Nahan at the time as he was visiting his hometown for Eid festivities.

On Saturday, police in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district confirmed that the animal slaughtered by Javed was a buffalo, which is permitted by law. Despite this, Javed was booked and arrested under charges of inciting riots due to social media photos that were deemed disturbing.

The Shamli Superintendent of Police said, “A legally permitted animal was sacrificed. The picture on social media was somewhat disturbing, leading to an FIR being registered for inciting communal sentiments.”

In the wake of the attack and subsequent tensions, Muslim leaders in Nahan held a press conference on Saturday. Bobby Qureshi, head of Anjuman Islamiya, highlighted the forced exodus of approximately 16 Muslim traders due to the violence and hate campaigns instigated by Hindutva groups and the local trader association.

Qureshi condemned the inflammatory photos of animal sacrifice and criticized the authorities for failing to curtail the actions of small-time politicians who are disrupting the peace. “Some people are coming from outside, and items belonging to four or five shops were looted. Around 16 people were forced to flee the town in fear of attack,” he said. He also condemned calls for an economic boycott against Muslims. “This is India. Any person can do business in any part of the country. Calls to drive out traders from Uttar Pradesh are thoughtless and unjust,” Qureshi said.

He expressed concerns about potential further violence, noting that Hindutva groups have planned a meeting on June 26. He warned that any individuals coming to Nahan to incite violence would face consequences. “We respect others and expect the same in return. We don’t take to the streets, we don’t vandalize properties, nor do we hold protests and demonstrations. Our gentleness should not be mistaken for weakness,” he stated.

Following the Bakrid celebrations, Hindutva groups and the trader association organized rallies that escalated into chaos, culminating in the attack on Javed’s shop. The violent incident, captured on video, has since gone viral on social media, exacerbating the communal tensions in Nahan.

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