Modi’s India: Muslim journalist forced to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’ to avoid burnt alive


New Delhi, July 2 (TNS): In an account for the BBC, NDTV’s Munne Bharti said extremist Hindu group Bajrang Dal members targeted his family as they were wearing attire indicative of their community.

A Muslim man and his family were forced to say “Jai Shri Ram” by a group of members they believe belonged to the Bajrang Dal in Bihar after they threatened to set the family’s car on fire if they did not oblige.

Munne Bharti, a journalist with NDTV, was traveling with his parents, wife and two children from Karneji village in Vaishali district of Bihar to Raheemabad village in Samastipur.

On reaching the Muzaffarpur National Highway 28, the man noticed a major jam near the toll booth. He noticed a truck, parked in the middle of the highway, blocking the path of the commuters. When he asked a passerby about the reason for the jam, the youth warned him to go back, saying their car would be set on fire by members of the Bajrang Dal.

Scared about the safety of his family, the man started to turn his car when he noticed four to five people dressed in saffron clothes, armed with bamboo sticks, walking towards his car. The men peeped inside the car, noticed his bearded father and veiled wife, and started chanting Jai Shri Ram and thumping their sticks on the ground. The men then shouted “Say Jai Shri Ram or we will burn you down”.

The man said he and his family, scared for their lives, chanted “Jai Shri Ram” and were allowed to leave the spot by the purported Bajrang Dal members. The man later took to Twitter to inform Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar about the incident.