In a distressing incident on January 24, 2024, a group of Islamists launched a violent attack on Hindus in Sirauli, Bareilly, during their celebration of the Pran Pratishtha of Ramlalla, marking the consecration of the Ram Mandir. Varun Rastogi, along with his family, was targeted by the assailants as they engaged in fireworks outside their residence.
The confrontation arose when local Muslims objected to the Hindu family’s fireworks display. The dispute quickly escalated into violence as more individuals joined the scene, attacking Varun Rastogi, his children, and others present with sticks. The assailants, identified as Shahavez, Wasim, Suhail, Qayyum, Danish, and Sahana, residents of Sirauli, explicitly targeted Varun Rastogi, making inflammatory statements about his devotion to Lord Ram.
During the assault, Varun’s wife, who attempted to intervene, was also subjected to violence by the attackers. As neighbours rushed to aid the beleaguered family, they too fell victim to the assailants’ aggression. In the aftermath, Varun Rastogi’s wife sought refuge in their residence with their two children, only to be pursued by the Islamists, who continued their assault inside the house.
Among the victims, Varun and his children sustained severe injuries, necessitating medical treatment. Varun Rastogi promptly filed a First Information Report (FIR) against the attackers at the Sirauli police station, citing charges such as attempted murder and rioting. However, the accused remain at large despite police efforts to apprehend them.
Inspector Rajesh Kumar confirmed the registration of the FIR and assured that the perpetrators would be arrested soon. CO Mirganj Deepshikha Ahivaran Singh visited the site on Thursday, conducting a thorough investigation by examining CCTV footage and creating a map of the incident location. To prevent further tension in the area, additional police forces have been deployed.
In another alarming incident, reports have emerged of a separate attack on Hindus in Laxmiapur Harvanshpur village, Bhojipura police station area. A group of Islamists targeted Hindus participating in religious rituals related to the Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha, pelting stones at them on the night of January 22. The attackers, identified as Anwar, Nanhe, Rafiq, and Qadir, triggered a stampede and issued threats aimed at forcing Hindus out of the region.
Subsequently, the police apprehended three individuals in connection with this incident. Authorities are actively working to address both instances of violence against Hindus and maintain peace in the region.