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How are Tripura Muslims responsible for attacks in Bangladesh?: 'Concerned' citizens

Counterview Desk 

Calling it a “retaliation” of Bangladesh violence, several “concerned citizens”*, including Magsaysay award winning social activist and academic Sandeep Pandey and PV Rajagopal of the Sarvodaya Samaj, have said that the recent attacks on Muslim community in different areas of Tripura is a the reflection of “growing trend of using violence against another community.”
Welcoming Tripura BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya for stating that he would ensure such attacks do not happen again, in a statement, the “concerned citizens” said, “Prevention is indeed important, but not sufficient”, insisting on “exemplary action against all perpetrators of violence.”

Text:

It is with great concern and anguish we note that mosques and members of the Muslim community and their houses were attacked in different areas in Tripura. This is said to be retaliation for the unfortunate attacks on the Puja Pandals and on members of Hindu Community in Bangladesh during the recent Durga Puja festival.
We welcome the reports of statement of Tripura BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said that party workers, mainly from minority cell, “are keeping a close watch everywhere to ensure such undesirable activities do not happen.” Prevention is indeed important but not sufficient. What is required is condemnation followed by exemplary action against all perpetrators of violence involved.
We call upon the Prime Minister to condemn the violence and urge the Chief Minister of Tripura to initiate immediate action to identify, try and secure exemplary punishments for all those involved. This along can prevent recurrence of all such unjustifiable violence not only in the State but across the country.
The signatories of this statement had unequivocally condemned the violence in Bangladesh and demanded that the Government of Bangladesh should take immediate action to identify, try and secure exemplary punishment of all the perpetrators. But attacking some innocent people in India for what has happened in Bangladesh makes no sense.
Indeed one fails to understand how Muslims of Tripura are responsible for the attacks in Bangladesh and why they should be punished for something with which they are not even remotely connected. The only connection they may be sharing with the perpetrators of violence in Bangladesh is that they belong to the same community. 
But making people complicit in crimes and assault them just because they belong to the same community defies all logic, law and even common sense – making it absolutely unjustifiable and grossly criminal.
Citizens are also responsible for this deplorable state of affairs because of their silence – sometimes due to unethical indifference, sometimes out of fear of the communal groups and at times because of the reluctance to call out the governments for their inaction.
If assault against another community becomes a norm, then Hindu-Muslim identities alone will not remain vulnerable to violence
It is time the citizens realise that if they do not challenge the growing trend of using violence against another community due to some differences, then every community becomes vulnerable and any and every person can get attacked. Indeed, sometime or the other, they may find themselves bracketed with the community that is made a victim, and as a result, they could face violence and even death.
It is important to remember that every person has multiple identities and with one identity she / he may belong to the majority and another identity may make her / him a minority.
If violence and assault against another community continues to gain sanction and becomes a norm, then only Hindu-Muslim identities will not remain vulnerable to violence. In fact we are already seeing violence against communities extending to other religious identities like Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, etc. or caste identities between Dalits and upper castes or even within upper castes and within Dalits or linguist groups or regional groups and the list could go on and every person may find herself or himself or at the receiving end sometime or the other.
So the choice before every citizen is simple and clear: Take a stand against sectarian violence today to nip it in the bud or keep quiet to become its victim with your family tomorrow.
---
*Aasha Ramesh- Researcher- Activist, Karnataka; Christopher Fonseca, AITUC, Goa; Fr. Cedric Prakash- Prashant- Gujarat; Harsh Kapoor- sacw.net; Irfan Engineer- Centre for Study of Society and Secularism- Maharashtra; Mazher Hussain- COVA Peace Network- Telangana; P.V. Rajagopal- Sarvodaya Samaj; Ram Puniyani- All India Secular Forum; Satyapaul- South Asian Fraternity; Sandeep Panday- Social Activist- Uttar Pradesh

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