What happened: The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government led by the Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party has allegedly been planning to remove a dozen houses around the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur. According to the government, this decision has been taken to deploy more forces and provide a security cover to the 11th-century temple. Several reports have emerged stating that the mostly Muslim residents around the area have been forced to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) fearing the wrath Hindu extremist groups. Moreover, journalists aiming to report on this matter have been threatened with the imposition of the National Security Act.
The Bigger picture: This comes at a time of increased discrimination against the Muslim minority of India. Earlier the UP government demolished a mosque that predated the establishment of the Indian state by decades. Yogi Adityanath the chief minister of UP is known for his anti-Muslim views and has previously compared Indian Muslims to a ‘virus‘.
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