Miles2smile Stories

Tremors of Violence

Sarwari sat slumped against the broken wall in dismay, as she spoke of the brutal attack by Mahaviri Akhara rallyists on her husband.

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As she sat slumped against the broken wall in dismay, she spoke of the brutal attack by Mahaviri Akhara rallyists on her husband, who was fighting for his life in a hospital at Gopalganj Bihar. Her husband Sarwar was thrashed to near death while his egg shop was looted and vandalized by a group of armed men. 

In Barharia village of Bihar’s Siwan district, hundreds of saffron-clad men armed with sticks, and swords carried out an annual Mahaviri Akhara Rally in the afternoon of September 8, 2022. The rally turned violent as it reached Madni masjid near Purani Bazaar.  According to local eye-witnesses, Muslims were offering early-evening prayers inside the mosque, while participants from the rally started dancing to provocative music in front of the mosque.

 Some of the men who were part of the Mahaviri Akhara even attempted to enter the mosque. Participants in the Mahaviri Akhada procession clashed with Namazis, as the former swooped upon those holding the namaz inside the mosque and started beating them with lathis. The tussle resulted in widespread havoc on Muslim’s businesses. 

Our team went to Siwan, Bihar, after hearing of the devastating attacks on the Muslim community , and spoke with survivors of all the affected families.

In our assessment, many were found to be gravely injured while some were staring forlornly with a bleak future as their only sources of earning a livelihood were gutted in the fire of communalism.

It was during our visit, we met Sarwari Begam. Our team went to visit her injured husband at the hospital. His left side of the brain had suffered immense damage. “It is women like Sarwari who bear the most of the consequences of violence. 

When men are injured, women are left with the responsibility of sustaining their families while also handling care work”. Sarwari was troubled over her husband’s health because he was the sole breadwinner in the family, but she exuded confidence when we provided financial relief for her husband’s further treatment and the family’s well being.

We are delighted to share that Sarwar has recovered fully and is back to his shop again. 

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