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Why is Amnesty urging India to halt bulldozing of Muslim properties?

Rights group calls for a halt to the demolition of Muslim properties, describing it as a form of extrajudicial punishment.

Amnesty International has called on Indian authorities to immediately halt the “unlawful” demolitions of Muslim properties, as it released two new reports describing the targeting of homes, businesses and places of worship across several states belonging to the minority community.

Calling the demolitions a form of extrajudicial punishment, the rights group demanded adequate compensation to all those affected by the demolitions that have rendered hundreds of people, most of them Muslims, homeless and their livelihoods destroyed.

The London-based rights group also called on the JCB construction equipment company, whose bulldozers have been widely used in the “punitive” demolitions, to “publicly condemn the use of its machinery to commit human rights violations”.

Here are the main points of the reports.

The two reports, titled Bulldozer Injustice in India and JCB’s Role and Responsibility in Bulldozer Injustice in India, document demolitions of at least 128 properties between April and June 2022. Amnesty International says the demolitions carried out by bulldozers have rendered at least 617 people either homeless or destroyed their livelihoods.

It says authorities in five states – Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi – carried out demolitions as a “punishment” following episodes of religious violence or protest by Muslims against discriminatory government policies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been accused of running anti-Muslim rhetoric, rules in four out of the five states.

“The unlawful demolition of Muslim properties by the Indian