With Wednesday’s killing of three youth — Afroz, 20, Meherban, 21, and Ajmal, 22, of Mohammadpurraisingh village of Muzaffarnagar peaceniks have lost another round to communal tension that has engulfed the western Uttar Pradesh district for the last two months.
Many Muslim families of Mohammadpurraisingh, a Jat-dominated village, took shelter in the nearby Muslim-majority village Hussainpur after the September violence.
“These families wanted to return to their village and a peace committee had been formed with Chaudhry Feru of Mohammadpurraisingh and Shahnawaz Khan, husband of village Pradhan or chief of Hussainpur as members. An understanding was reached that after Diwali the displaced Muslim families of Mohammadpurraisingh will go back to their houses. But on Wednesday three youths from Hussainpur were killed and whole process now looks impossible as of now,” says district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma.
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“When my husband Rajendra Fauzi, a resident of Mohammadpurraisingh, had gone to water his fields in the evening, he was beaten up. When other villagers saw the condition of my husband they went back looking for those responsible for it but they were fired upon and in the clash that followed the three boys of Hussainpur were killed,” says Kavita Rani, wife of Rajendra Fauzi, who is now in police custody.
Rajanth blames state
BJP president Rajnath Singh said violence wouldn’t have returned to Muzaffarnagar had the authorities taken “severe and unbiased” action against those responsible for the earlier riots.
“The trouble begins when such sad incidents are politicised. It only exacerbates the issue. I think if severe action was taken against those responsible for violence earlier....if just and fair action was taken, the violence would not have been repeated.”