Three people from a family were killed and more than a dozen people were injured on Friday after a violent clash broke out between the villagers of Nayagaon and Peda in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh over the harassment of girls.
Police identified the deceased from the girls’ family as Haseenuddin, 50, Sarfaraz, 17 and Ehsan, 36.
Seven of the accused have been arrested by the Bijnor police.
The incident as it happened:
According to the information of the police, the clash was broke out after the alleged harassment of some girls by boys belonging to the other community at a bus stand in the village at 7.30 am. Altercation broke out between the two communities. Men from one community took positions on the roofs of their homes and open-fired bullets resulting to the death of three people, 12 more people suffered injuries.
Eight people are being treated at Bijnor district hospital while the others, who are in a critical condition, have been sent for treatment to Meerut. The injured include Ehsan’s wife and Hassenuddin’s 16-year-old daughter.
The police have suspended three policemen who were at duty in the vicinity, yet didn’t take any step to allay the tension.
The bereaved family has been given immediate compensation of Rs 20 lakh for the dead and Rs 5 lakh for the injured. But they are seeking compensation worth Rs 50 lakh for the dead and Rs 20 lakh for the injured, along with a licence for a gun for self-protection.
How some media houses further insinuated the violence:
While in reality Muslim girls were harassed by Jat boys, initially, Dainik Jagran, Uttar Pradesh’s leading Hindi daily, reported that Muslim youngsters harassed a Jat girl. However, later the correct details were updated by the Newspaper.
While Hindustan Times published, “A group of male residents from the village then escorted the girls and beat up a boy named Talib after he was reportedly found harassing one of the girls.
Talib, however, called more people from his village who attacked the Nayagaon inhabitants. The injured boys managed to escape to their village where they narrated the incident. Following this, a group from Nayagaon and a neighbouring village reached Peda armed with guns and wooden staffs and attacked the villagers. Both the sides exchanged fire and pelted stones at each other.”
The information was misleading because it said Talib was accused for harassing. While in the reality, Talib was the brother of the girl who was molested.
Right wing websites went a step further to insinuate the violence. Website hindupost.in reported a completely different version of the incident blaming Muslim youths for harassing Hindu girls. Another right wing website, hinduexistence.org, known to publish contents against Muslims and Christians, also posted a similar report.
The incident that started as a minor scuffle turned into a brutal massacre with the killing of three people. Many villagers are of the opinion it is an attempt to communally polarise the areas surrounding the village just before the elections which are due in the state.
People are of the opinion that the ruling Samajwadi Party has been inefficient in handling these incidents and burying the issue so that it does not put a hole to their minority vote bank.
Not the first of its kind
An incident like this is not unprecedented in Uttar Pradesh. Almost a similar kind of incident triggered a riot in Muzaffarnagar in September, 2013.
The Logical Indian requests the community members to not fall prey to the tactics used by fringe elements to polarise the country. We have seen often how before any election in UP, there are incidences like these.