Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Haribhushan Thakur Bachaul on Saturday, May 7 said that Muslims should be set ablaze just as Hindus burn Ravana effigies during the festival of Dussehra. “We need a Hanuman ji so that our youth could be strong, the people of our country could be strong. Just like Ravana’s Lanka was burnt by Hanuman ji, the demon-like Ravanas, who are hovering over Bihar and the country, should also be burnt,” news channels reported. “Demon-like Ravanas” is seen by many as a reference to religious and other minorities in the country, especially Muslims.
The BJP MLA made these comments at an event in Patna, where a discussion was held on ‘The Untold Story of Kashmiri Hindus’. Hanuman Chalisa was also recited during the programme. BJP leader from Delhi, Kapil Mishra, also attended the event.
When asked where are the ‘Ravanas’ in Bihar, Bachaul said, “You go and see what is happening in Kashmir…Kishanganj, what’s happening in Purnia.”
The Seemanchal region in Bihar consists of four districts: Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia and Katihar. The region has a 47% Muslim population and accounts for 24 assembly seats.
In August 2021, the Patna high court had asked the state government on its plan for detention centres to house illegal immigrants. It had asked the government to develop a mechanism for people to report “illegal” migrants, especially Bangladeshis, and deport them. On 1 September, the district magistrate of Kishanganj, a district in northeastern Bihar’s Seemanchal region bordering Bangladesh, wrote to the district’s public relations officer citing the court order.
The BJP MLA also attacked the Nitish government and accused it of Muslim appeasement, and called it a pseudo-secularist government. He further said, “Today Hindus have become a minority in many areas of the country, but no one is listening.”
In February 2022, the BJP MLA had also said that Muslims living in India should be stripped of voting rights and treated as second class citizens. Several members of the opposition parties, mainly the Rashtriya Janata Dal, in the Bihar assembly had protested against his anti-Muslim statement and demanded his suspension.
He is the same BJP MLA who had said that “those who are feeling scared in India should go to Afghanistan…petrol and diesel are cheaper, Once there, they will understand the value of India.”