A panchayat held at Ballabgarh on Saturday failed to achieve any results, with Muslims camping at the city police station refusing to move back unless they are given an assurance that their mosque will stay where it was.
During the panchayat, a group of 60 Hindus from Atali village apologised to the Muslims for the May 25 violence and asked them to return to the village.Members of the minority community, however, refused saying that they want the issue of the mosque to be sorted out.
A number of elders from the Atali village, including sarpanch Rajesh Chaudhary and area MLA Prithla Tek Chand Sharma, urged the Muslim families putting up at the Ballabgarh city police station to return home. They even assured help in constructing their homes and also their religious place.
“We will help you reconstruct your homes and your religious place,” sarpanch Chaudhary told the families.Prehlad Singh, another elder from Atali village, then suggested that the mosque be built at a place which has Muslim families in majority. He said that since Hindus were a majority in the village, it will take them some time to convince the youth.
“We want these families back in the village. Hence, we decided to meet them for a second time today.Initially there were just 20 of us. Today around 60 of us have come to convince them. This shows that we want them back,” Prehlad said.
But a majority of the families said that they wanted an assurance from the Hindus that the mosque will stand where it is.“The mosque has to stay where it stands today,” said Ali Sher, one of the many who have taken shelter at the police station.
“What is the guarantee that we won’t be targeted again in our village over the mosque issue. We hence need to sort out the mosque issue first,” said another man Haji Shaqir.
Some families also raised the issue of fresh arson in a thatched shed that stored fodder on Saturday morning, an incident the village elders suspected might have been the handiwork of drunkards as a liquor shop is situated near the place of the incident.MLA Prithla Tek Chand Sharma said that setting pre-conditions from both sides will not lead to a resolution of the problem. He made it clear that action will be taken against those responsible for violence on May 25.