At a time when heartwrenching stories of Delhi violence survivors are still making headlines, an incident of Muslim community being threatened to leave their houses has been reported from a village in Jhajjar district in Haryana.
On Friday, February 29 around 50-60 men barged into Muslim colony in Nikhil Vihar Colony of Isharhedi village in and threatened them to leave the place before Holi or face serious consequences.
Jhajjar district is located near West Delhi's Najafgarh area. Around 20-odd Muslim families have been residing peacefully in Nikhil Vihar, a Hindu dominated area, for over a decade. All of them are migrants from West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and work as a mason, carpenter, and labourers.
Gulfam Khan, the complainant, in this case, told The Logical Indian that the men selectively targeted Muslim houses and broke nameplates on doors. "They threatened to see us if we all did not leave the place till Holi festival by selling our houses at any price or even without selling from here," said Khan.
"Some of the people who were from outside this colony used slurs and abusive language to instil fear in the minds of women and children," he added.
Noor Begum, one of the women from the colony, said that such was the fear of the incident that many families left the colony. "Even other families who live here have shifted young girls and children to other places for their safety in case the threat turns real," said 45-year-old Begum.
Stressing on the brotherhood and camaraderie being enjoyed by Hindus and Muslim families in their locality, she said that they always participate in each other good and bad times.
Expressing her concern, Baby Khan, another woman who was present when the incident occurred said that now another worry for them is whether to send their wards to school for the exam or not. "If we send children, there is a fear for their security and if we make them miss then one academic year would be jeopardised," she said.
The victims said that since their colony is located on the border of Delhi, they contacted the Delhi Police them but were told that was not their jurisdiction. "Later, we contacted Haryana police who reached here and deployed police personnel for round-the-clock security to quell any tension in the area," said victims.
Organisations Urge Police
Urging the state government to take immediate action for prevention of any untoward happening by communal elements, the members of left organisations met Rohtak Divisional Commissioner and demanded action on it. Inderjit Singh of one of the organisations said that they personally visited the area and found that the fear is real.
"The Haryana government and police should identify the accused or anti-social elements behind triggered panic in the area and put them behind bars," he demanded.
Highlighting the safety issues, Singh said that the Nikhil Vihar colony even does not have street lights, so it is a matter of concern for the safety of Muslim families.
"Anyone can come at night and taking advantage of the darkness and can wreak havoc. Even for the police deployed there, needs visibility to thwart any such attempt by outsiders," he added.
Dheeraj Pandey, who runs property dealing in this village, said that the local Hindu population has no issues with Muslim families. "The accused were anti-social elements from nearby places who tried to take advantage of situation due to tensed atmosphere post-Delhi riots," he said.
He said that some of the family members of Muslim families have left out to other places fearing repercussions from the accused while the families who still reside are under the protection of Haryana police and local Hindu population is with them.
Meanwhile, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Jhajjar) Ashok Kumar said that a case had been registered against unidentified persons and a probe has been launched in the case. Police said that round-the-clock security had been given to the complaints. He said that although they have raided some of the hideouts to arrest the accused, no success has been met.