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Balraj Dungar is a hardliner, militant Hindu far-right local leader in Western Uttar Pradesh (UP). He is associated with Bajrang Dal and the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
His Twitter profile reads, ‘Being a Hindu is luck, but being a radical Hindu is super luck.’
He is a key conspirator in the 2013 anti-Muslim pogroms in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, which left at least 62 people dead, mostly Muslims, and displaced 50,000.
He is considered a close aide of Sangeet Som, a BJP leader and one of the masterminds of the Muzaffarnagar Pogrom.
On the 6th of October 2013, a Kheda Mahapanchayat (Caste Parliament) was organized in Meerut, UP, against the arrest of the then BJP MLA Sangeet Som to protest against the imposition of the National Security Act on him. Dungar was amongst the main organizers and was arrested by Uttar Pradesh Police.
He extended support to Yogesh Raj, one of the accused in the brutal murder of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh (who was trying to maintain law and order after a cow caracas was found that enraged Hindu cow vigilantes) in Bulandshahr, UP, in 2018. He also arranged free legal assistance for him.
“A panel of ten lawyers from Bulandshahr would be providing legal assistance to Yogesh Raj,” Dungar said.
In a TV program, Dungar was asked about the killing of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and he started talking about cows, on which moderator Faye Dsouza hit back, saying, “I’m asking you about humans & not cows’. He replied, saying, ‘Are cows not humans!? They are the symbol of 100 crore Hindus!”
Dungar has been Jila Gau Raksha Pramukh (District Cow Protection Chief) and has promoted anti-Muslim hate crimes on the pretext of cow protection. Notable to mark that the state of Uttar Pradesh has been a hotbed of bovines-related anti-Muslim crimes in India.
He has organized armed training camps in Meerut, Noida, and Ayodhya to prepare Hindu youth against their supposed ‘enemies.’ In camps, terrorists were portrayed with visible Muslim symbols, wearing a head cap (Topi), kurta-Ppejama and sporting beards. When asked by a reporter on the issue, he said, ‘kya is desh ke atakwadi topi nahi pahante (Do the terrorists of this country not wear caps?).
The then Governor of the state of Uttar Pradesh Ram Nayak supported such training camps, saying, ‘there is nothing objectionable (in what is being done there)”. However, Dungar was somehow arrested but only to be released on bail.
He has openly called Madrasas the hub of terrorists and also called one of the prestigious Islamic Institute of Learning Darul Uloom Deoband ‘atankwad ka adda’ (the hub of terrorism).
In a video, he could be seen requesting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to shut down Madrasas to curb “terrorism” in the country. Dungar openly calls Hindus not to vote for Muslim candidates in elections.
His impenitent Islamophobia is apparently visible. During a press conference, while promoting conspiracy theories, he said that “only unrest will be found in Islam. Love Jihad, Land Jihad, and terrorism will not bring peace. They keep waiting for the 72 Hurons (virgins), they will not be found either. If you want peace, you have to come in the shelter of Ram. Peace can be attained only by building a grand temple”.