Members of the Muslim community, residing in and around the Babri Mandi area here, announced their intention to sell off their houses and shops after Hindus made the same declaration on Saturday.
Muslims of Sarai Kale Khan displayed ‘for sale’ boards outside their houses, claiming that they did not feel secure in the area. They alleged that the police harassed them, labelling them as rioters.
Resident Wakil Khan said, “The walls of our houses are so high that leave aside stone pelting, we cannot even see the marketplace from here. Yet, we have been made accused by the police. The real condition of the bajaria (market) is that our women and children are living under the shadow of fear.”
About 60 Hindu families of Babri Mandi had announced their intention of leaving the locality in view of rising incidents of eve-teasing and assault allegedly by members of the Muslim community.
While the market has reopened, the situation in the mandi is still tense and police deployment has been increased. So far, cops have arrested Nadim, the prime accused of the eve-teasing incident that led to the communal flare-up, and another accused. Warrants have been issued against two others.
On Friday, Aligarh MP Satish Gautam and other leaders of the BJP visited the locality to take stock of the situation. The same day, Aligarh MLA Zafar Alam held discussions with several Muslim families and women of the community gheraoed the Kotwali police station, alleging “one-sided action by cops under pressure from BJP”.
Talking about the situation, Gautam said, “I am the watchman of this city and I will not allow locals to desert their houses. The main issue of Babri Mandi Bajaria is (lack of) foolproof security. A positive decision in this regard will soon be taken in cooperation with the district and the police administration.”