Stone pelting had become synonymous with insurgency and terrorist activities in the Kashmir Valley. Continuous hurling of brick bats, stone chips and other sharp objects with the intention of grievously hurting our Armed Forces or any individual or organization of authority was typical of the radicalized locals of Kashmir. This, was their methodology of protesting against the Indian authority over the territory, which they felt was rightfully theirs and strive for their ‘Azadi’ or freedom from Indian rule. After successfully driving away almost the entire population of the original inhabitants of the valley, the Kashmiri Hindus, culminating in their genocide in January 1990, those brainwashed local Muslims embarked on a death mission to end Indian occupation by the means of hurting them by stone pelting.
The incidents of stone pelting in Kashmir may have increased since 2008, but such instances are nothing new as far as the valley is concerned Stone pelting against the authorities began as early as 1931 during the Kashmir Agitation, which saw the local Muslims there protest against the Maharaja’s government, during the British era. The movement was financed by the rich Muslim zalidars and business houses. The movement marked the rise of Sheikh Abdullah as a prominent Kashmiri leader.
However, the subsequent movements or skirmishes – major and minor, in Kashmir were not marked by stone pelting till the second decade of the 21st Century. These demoniacal stone pelters did not spare the civilians even. The tourists on a holiday in Kashmir or the pilgrims on Amarnath Yatra were also victims of stone pelting besides suicidal terror attacks. The death due to stone pelting of a 22 year old Chennai-based man, R. Thirumani, who was on a holiday with his parents in Kashmir, in May 2018, had shaken up the entire nation to the horrors of the cult and their barbaric practice.
Our valiant Armed Forces never cowered in the face of such stone attacks, which were, at times, accompanied with hurling of grenades. Some of their retaliation against these beastly radicals have become common folklore now. One such tale of courage and wit amidst extreme adversity was that of Major Leetul Gogoi, who had tied a stone pelter in front of his jeep, as a human shield, while he was on duty in Srinagar during the Lok Sabha by polls being held there on April 9, 2017. His contention was that he saved many lives without firing a single bullet by doing so. He was also awarded with the COAS commendation card by General Bipin Rawat for this act.
However, with the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir, incidents of stone pelting are unheard of ,but the other parts of our country seem to be bitten by the pelting bug.
If we wish to know about the radical Islamists’ obsession with stone pelting, then one must take a peek at Islamist laws. Stone pelting, known as Rajm in Arabic, is a punishment wherein an organized group throws stones at a convicted individual until that person die. Such a punishment is prescribed only for adultery by married men and women. However, conviction in such cases requires a confession by the adulterer/adulteress or a testimony by at least four witnesses (prescribed by Quran 24:4) or a pregnancy outside marriage, in certain circumstances.
The exercise of stoning or Rajm as a means of punishment against adultery is unique in the sense that it is not mentioned in the Quran. According to the Quran, flogging is prescribed as a punishment against adultery. However, stoning of adulterers is mentioned in multiple hadiths and therefore most schools of Islamic jurisprudence accept it as a prescribed punishment for adultery. Stoning, as a means of punishment has not been seen even in Islamic nations. This bizarre means of punishment has been seen at times, put in use by kangaroo courts and is commonly used by radical Islamist terrorist outfits like the ISIS, the Boko Haram and also by the Taliban. Zia Ul Haque, the military dictator who ruled Pakistan between 1977 and 1988, had introduced the punishment of stoning under the Hudood Ordinance of 1979.
Such mention of stoning in the Hadiths and the prominence of Kashmiri stone pelters in the past have inspired/instigated the tendency to pelt stones on ‘non believers’ by the radical Islamists in other parts of the country, to establish their superiority over the same. Hence incidences of stone pelting were observed in the following instances :
During the anti CAA protests in December, 2019 in Delhi’s Seelampur, Ahmedabad, Jamia Milia Islamia and in Jaffarabad and Maujpur in Uttar Pradesh. In Uttar Pradesh there was a massive crackdown on such stone pelters and rioters who were not only arrested but their properties confiscated as a compensation for the damage done to the state by them. Their posters were also put up on walls for people to identify them easily as miscreants.
Stone pelting at authorities was common place during the Shaheen Bagh Dharna starting from December, 2019 and which continued till March, 2020 when the Covid- induced lockdown was announced. The image of an elderly lady with an evil grimace on her face, pelting stones, had gone viral on social media.
The primary feature of the Shaheen Bagh induced Delhi riots in February, 2020, was stone pelting and hurling of crude bombs, petrol bombs et al. Reports state that such stones and bombs were stored in building courtyards and terraces to be used on the Hindu crowds. The motive for the riots was to portray India in poor light during the visit of the US President at that time, Donald Trump.
The most shocking instances of stone pelting were observed during the Covid Lockdown from March, 2020, when these radicals pelted stones at health workers and policemen who visited their localities to help them. Such incidents were seen in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. These radicals were not interested in following Covid norms or in taking adequate precautions. Hence they were inimical towards the medical professionals and law enforcers. Some amongst them even expressed their desire to spread the infection amongst the ‘non believers’. In Uttar Pradesh, they were arrested and their properties confiscated.
Stone pelting, by now, seemed to have become a norm with the radical Islamists as a means to punish those who donot subscribe to their ideology (read : the Hindus) or donot obey them. Stone pelting on Hindu religious processions or even on political rallies involving the BJP became commonplace. A few of such instances are as under :
In October 2019, incidents of stone pelting took place on Durga Visarjan (immersion) procession in two separate incidents in Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh and Gaya in Bihar. In both the instances, stones were pelted on the procession while they were passing by mosques, playing hindu religious songs e. g bhajans, kirtans, which irked those radicals. Many were injured.
In West Bengal’s Howrah, incidents of stone pelting occurred in 2021 on BJP karyakartas, while they were returning home after attending an election rally.
Earlier in December, 2020, BJP National President, J. P. Nadda’s convoy was attacked with glass bottles and stones were pelted at the same while he was visiting West Bengal’s Diamond Harbour to address a political rally. The stone pelters claimed allegiance to the ruling dispensation of West Bengal, the TMC and were seen waving the party flag.
Stone pelting was used by the same radicals as a potent weapon during the ‘Hijab controversy’ in Karnataka when the Hijab supporting radicals pelted stones at those who opposed them. Stone pelting cases were reported from Shivamogga, Banahatti in Bagalkote and from Udupi.
Over the last couple of weeks, stone pelting seemed to occupy the headlines more prominently than in the previous occasions, what with the Hindu New Year and Ram Navami being celebrated in close succession. The first such instance occurred in Karauli in Rajasthan, when a congregation of Hindus held a rally there, after a span of seven years, to commemorate the Hindu Nav Varsh on April 2. As the congregation was passing by the Muslim dominated Hatwara bazaar area, stones began to be pelted at the rally. The incident assumed the proportion of a riot with shops and vehicles being set on fire. 43 people were believed to have been injured. FIRs were lodged against 37 individuals. What was shocking about the incident was the Rajasthan CM, Ashok Gehlot’s statement shirking responsibility for such display of lawlessness in the state governed by him and his indirect attempt to pin the blame on the Centre. Even more bizarre was the stand adopted by the Rajasthan police, who blamed the Hindus for the arson claiming that they had provoked the stone pelting by playing ‘objectionable’ songs during the rally. Such endorsement and justification of stone pelting is likely to encourage more such incidents, not only in Rajasthan but all over the nation. Even though Congress councillor, Matloob Ahmed was the main conspirator, the ones arrested were the leaders – Rajaram Gurjar, husband of BJP leader, Soumya Gurjar, the rally convenor, Neeraj Sharma, who had obtained prior permission for the rally, Sahab Singh Gurjar, state president of the Hindu Sena, and Rajaram Gurjar, former Chairman of the Municipal Council, Karauli. Congress’s age old practice of brazen minority appeasement was visible in the instant case.
The next few incidents of stone pelting occurred on April 10, on Ram Navami processions in Gujarat (Himmatnagar), Madhya Pradesh (Khargone), West Bengal (Shibpur), Karnataka (Kolar) and Jharkhand (Lohardaga), critically injuring some of the participants. In Himmatnagar, the police arrested the miscreants and paraded them through the city.
In Kolar too, the, the miscreants were arrested, though, the situation remained tense. In Lohardaga, a huge contingent of police were sent in to pacify the tension. In West Bengal, no reports of any arrest is available. However, the critically injured individuals have been admitted to the hospital and the Bengal unit of the BJP is taking care of their treatment.
It was the Khargone incident which has attracted maximum attention and has been the cause of the Leftist Liberals’ wrath. The reason being that the dwellings of the stone pelters, which are allegedly illegal constructions, have been demolished by the MP government on the very next day. The leftist liberals and their political partners, the opposition parties of India are creating a huge media raucous enquiring about the legal validity of the stated action. They are trying their level best to create a Gujarat, 2002 kind of narrative here. The fact that the stone pelters in Karauli, Rajasthan were spared by their favourable dispensation there, the Congress, has encouraged the ‘liberals’ to float a similar narrative in the instant case too, portraying the stone pelters as victims. However, the video of a young lady mindlessly hurling stones from a terrace, aided by her mother in the process, which went viral on social media tells a different tale. Police reports too suggest that catapults were used to hurl stones from rooftops. The accumulation of armoury to launch an attack on the hindu rally suggests that the pogrom was pre planned, thus ruling out any excuse to pin the blame on the Hindus. The most grotesque part of the pogrom was the attack on a 16 year old Shivam Sukla, quite a distance away from the rally, as stated by his elder brother, which again suggests that the Islamist marauders had planned such an attack. Shivam Shukla is now battling for his life in a hospital, with a fractured skull. No amount of an attempt to create sympathy, by the usual offenders, the Leftist liberals, by floating a photo of an old Muslim man in tears, is not helping their cause much because the sequence of events is known to all, thanks to social media.
In another stone pelting incident in Barabani in Asansol, West Bengal during the Lok Sabha by elections on April 12, the BJP candidate, Agnimitra Paul, her security personnel and campaign manager were targeted and attacked.
The worrying factor is that the stone pelters remain unfazed in their intention to continue with their misdeed. The reasons range from their obsession with their religious diktat on punishing those who donot abide by them to the fact that they are encouraged to perform such acts by our nation’s internal enemies, the leftist liberals or urban naxals, whichever terminology you may assign them.
Their task is well cut out – they will start off by pelting stones on the Hindus unprovoked, but when countered, they will play victim. They are well aware that these leftist liberals will immensely further their cause of ‘playing victim’ by justifying the stone pelting incident, the way it was done in Rajasthan. Often they are paid to pelt stones. In Kashmir, it was believed tthat’s hat the stone pelters were paid a hefty sum to carry out their stone pelting task. Though, a young stone pelter had stated that they would pelt stones for free for the cause of waging war against our nation and gaining their elusive ‘Azadi’ – such was the extent of brainwashing that these youth were subjected to. However, the recent spate of frequent stone pelting incidents suggest something more than pure insecurity with the display of hindu unity being displayed by the organization of religious rallies. As some netizens and analysts suggest, it could be part of a deeper conspiracy to create unrest in our country with an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections of 2024, with it’s roots being outside India. The USA’s recent comment on their concern regarding the ‘Human Rights’ situation in India, intensifies the above suspicion. However, the kind of retort by our External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, that of India too, being concerned with the Human Rights scenario in the USA will surely cast a spanner on any such foreign ploy to disrupt peaceful life in our country. Nonetheless, it goes without saying that the stone pelting cult need to be dealt with an iron fist.