Assam atrocity triggers backlash in some Gulf countries
A widely circulated video of a photographer repeatedly stamping on a presumably dead man during an eviction drive in Assam has triggered a backlash in some Gulf countries.
The Indian embassy in Qatar has said “there is malicious attempt on social media to spread hatred and disharmony through false propaganda about India”.
The Grand Mufti of Oman has urged “all peace-loving countries to intervene to stop this aggression”, some lawmakers in Kuwait condemned atrocities against Muslims in India, and a call has surfaced on social media to boycott Indian products.
A photographer hired by Assam’s Darrang district administration to record an eviction drive in a minority-dominated settlement last week — during which two people died in police firing — had stamped on one of the victims as he lay motionless after being hit by a bullet.
In Qatar, the Indian embassy posted a tweet on Tuesday, saying: “There is malicious attempt on social media to spread hatred and disharmony through false propaganda about India. We urge everyone to exercise caution and not become victim of fake handle, propaganda, doctored videos. All Indian nationals are advised to maintain unity and harmony.”
The same day the Grand Mufti of Oman, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hamad Al-Khalili, tweeted a post in Arabic from his official handle, seeking international intervention.
“What is going on in India? From a blatant aggression against Muslim citizens at the hands of extremist groups — supported by official bodies — it stops everyone with a human conscience,” goes the Google translation provided by Twitter.
“Therefore, I appeal — in the name of humanity — to all peace-loving countries to intervene to stop this aggression, and I also appeal to the Islamic Ummah as a whole to stand united in this matter.”
The Grand Mufti belongs to the moderate Ibadi movement. Oman is the only country in West Asia to have an indigenous Hindu community, and is home to one of the oldest temples in the region.
The subject also came up in Kuwait’s National Assembly where some members issued a joint statement on Thursday condemning the attacks on Muslims in India.
According to the Middle East Monitor, “they called on international, humanitarian, human rights and Islamic organisations to immediately work to stop the Indian authorities’ actions and restore security to Indian Muslims”.
The website SabrNews quoted Kuwaiti MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri as saying that boycotting India and its products was a legal duty.
There was no official response from India.