Prefab Communal Tensions During Elections
A scuffle between two communities over the construction of a fence around a controversial well escalated into riots in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh on May 10. Some vehicles and kiosks were set afire and firing was also reported due to which Shubham Rastogi (22), son of a jeweler died then and there.
|Western Uttar Pradesh|
The situation was so intense that District Magistrate, Navdeep Rinwa was also surrounded by the mob, but was saved. DM has ordered for the enquiry under the supervision of Chief Development Officer, Dr Vedpati Mishra.
The incident occurred when a group of people was installing a water facilitation centre near a mosque. Members of the Jain community opposed the installation, saying it was near their temple and the queue of people would disturb the peace of the premises. But people from the Muslim community did not agree and installed the water centre there, following which a scuffle took place between the two rival groups.
The State government has ordered administration to install Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) pickets in the area. More than two dozen cases have been filed and over half a dozen people have been arrested. To avoid further chaos, 10 companies of PSC and Rapid Action Force (RAF) in the area.
According to the sources, the riot prone area is controversial from the past 65 years. But, neither administration nor government is trying to find out any fair and judicial way to settle down the problem. Though, the place has stay order on any kind of construction by the court. But, this once again has shown carelessness and biasness of the government due to which Muzaffarnagar riots took place. Western Uttar Pradesh, Shamli, Saharanpur, Baghpat and other districts are facing daily problems.
Mobs Clash Over Desecration
Three men died in police firing following communal clashes near the Sikh Chawni locality in the Kishan Bagh area south of Hyderabad on May 14. Police opened fire to disperse rioting groups and imposed curfew in the entire Rajendra nagar police station to prevent the tension and violence from escalating and spreading to other areas. The trouble spot is contiguous to the communally sensitive old city localities of Hyderabad.
Trouble erupted after some residents of the Sikh Chawni discovered that suspected miscreants, who belong to the adjacent Muslim neighbourhood, had burnt one of their religious flags in the early hours of the day. Members of Sikh community, angered by the act of desecration, attacked those they believed were responsible and tension mounted in surrounding areas (Arsh Mahal and Sikh Chawni).Warring groups from both sides gathered after two Muslim youth were caught as suspects and thrashed in retaliation for the burning of the flag.
Eye witness accounts say that some suspects were caught and learnt to have fled to the police station and sought protection. Both the groups then indulged in no hold barred fights and soon, a large number of Sikhs armed with swords, kirpans and lathis went to Arsh Mahal area and confronted the residents. Panicky police finding that the situation is going out of control pleaded the Jawans of BSF who were on the poll duty to fire at the mob assuming they would fire in the air to scare away rioting mobs, police sources said but instead it resorted to a knee jerk reaction—”firing on the rioters,” complained the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi. Due to firing three people died and several suffered bullet injuries. Tension between the Deccani Sikhs and the Muslims living in the area is not new. In 2006, one person was killed and several injured in a similar communal clash. Meanwhile self styled Secular Vigilantes and Civil liberty monitoring groups have warned the Sikh leadership that their community is under the grip of the Hindutva fascist forces. They have demanded a judicial enquiry by a sitting judge of High Court on the attack on Muslims because they perceive it as an organised and pre-planned attack on the Muslim community. While Sikhs have warned Muslims of messing up with their religous sentiments and have claimed to only defend themselves against unprovoked attacks by Muslim youths in the neighbourhood.
—Surendra Singhal, Deoband and N Nagaraj, Hyderbad