AI urges India to stop unlawful demolition of Muslims’ properties

Global rights watchdog, Amnesty International has urged the Indian authorities to stop the unlawful demolitions of largely Muslim-owned properties in Khargone city of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Dozens of shops and houses owned by Muslims have been demolished following incidents of communal violence during Ram avami celebrations in Khargone.

Reacting to the anti-Muslim move, Aakar Patel, the Chair of Amnesty International India chapter, in a statement said over the last few days, the country has witnessed some deeply disturbing events related to anti-Muslim attacks and hate speech.

“On top of it, the authorities’ unlawful action of demolishing private property of people suspected of rioting, allegedly without notice or other due process requirements is a major blow to the rule of law. The majority of the demolished properties are owned by Muslims. Such punitive demolition of family homes of suspects could also amount to collective punishment, in violation of International Human Rights Law,” he said.

Aakar Patel said, the authorities must urgently carry out a thorough, impartial and transparent investigation into the demolitions and ensure that those responsible for fanning violence and vandalism are brought to justice through fair trials.