Just five kilometres away from the Islamabad locality of Shahpur, over 50 persons have huddled in a Shiv temple in the heart of village Palari. The people fear a retaliation of September 8 attacks.
“So far no incident has taken place in the village and gram pradhan Nathu Qureshi is moving with some sensible persons from both communities to maintain peace but we are scared as victim families from nearby villages have taken shelter and that is creating tension,” says Madan Saini who runs a provisional store there. There are around 40 to 50 Hindu families in Palari. On September 7, a Mahapanchayat was convened to demand the arrest of those responsible for the killing of two youths in Kaval village of the district on August 27. The duo was murdered after they allegedly killed a youth of another community after an incident of sexual harassment.
Many people returning from the Mahapanchayat were attacked while their tractor trolleys were passing through villages dominated by the minority community.
The next day in many villages, people from the minority community were attacked and their houses burnt down.
Women in Palari say they have young daughters and they are really worried about their security. I have moved in the village by foot and it is under our constant vigil. Not only Palri but all neighbouring villages of Bassi Kalan, Bhaura Kalan, Haroli and Palari are being patrolled, “said an army official requesting anonymity.