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Rohan Saxena is a member of Bajrang Dal, a Hindu militant organisation,. He heads the organisation’s Uttar Pradesh wing. As is obvious from his affiliation, his full-time job includes anti-Muslim hate-mongering and inciting violence against Muslims and other religious minorities in the region.
Saxena is active throughout the western part of the volatile state of Uttar Pradesh and roams around with his squad disseminating and implementing Hindu nationalist/supremacist propaganda often through violent means.
Saxena has an overwhelming penchant for the idea of Hindu Rashtra [Nation] and usually asks his followers to join campaigns demanding the same.
It is the new normal in India that Hindu extremist organisations have assumed powers that used to vest solely with the States. It is at his whims that the meat shops owned by Muslims in western Uttar Pradesh would be shut during Hindu festivals regardless of the government’s order or notification.
Similarly, every year during Valentine’s week Saxena organises the ‘couple search’ drives in parks and restaurants, chasing and bullying couples in the name of ‘protecting Indian culture’.
“In Indian culture, apart from husband and wife, all sisters are like mother and sister to us. In India, except for your wife, you treat every woman like your sister. The boys and girls were roaming around carefully and they told us that they are not in a relationship. So, we made them tie rakhis,” said Saxena during one such campaign of moral policing in February 2023.
This parallel machinery runs under the state administration’s nose with complete impunity.
Vishva Hindu Parishad and other Hindu militant organisations regularly convene military training camps to provide weapon training to Hindu youth. One such camp was organised under Saxena’s supervision in Moradabad in June 2022 without any permission from the state administration. Saxena told the media that such arms training is the need of the hour. He added that Hindus should not be limited only to the knowledge of scriptures, but should also be trained to use weapons to protect their religion and scriptures. So that if needed, he can take up arms and protect himself and his religion, as reported by the Bharat Times.
In March 2023, in Moradabad, he led a group of men into a private property owned by a resident Mr. Zakir Hussain where Taraweeh Namaz [prayer offered during the Holy month of Ramadan in which the Quran is recited] was being conducted. Saxena disrupted the prayer and called the police and also released a video message that was widely circulated.
“We have told the police that those who want to create new traditions [and] disrupt the peace of the city should be booked. We will not allow any ‘new tradition’,” Saxena said in the video.
Police served notices on 10 Muslims present there under CrPC 107/116 (a preventive measure to preempt a breach of peace) and directed the Muslim family to whom the property belongs not to hold any group prayers. Police also asked the members of the Muslim community why they should not pay Rs 5 lakh each as a penalty for “disturbing peace” in the area. This police action drew harsh criticism from civil society.