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Kargil martyr brought this Muzaffarnagar village fame, Hindu ‘terrorist’ shame

Known as the village of Lance Nayak Bachan Singh, who sacrificed his life during the Kargil war, Mustafabad Pachenda will now also be known for Sandeep Sharma’s misdeeds

lucknow Updated: Jul 11, 2017 16:37 IST
S Raju
Sandeep’s ancestral home in Muzaffarnagar’s Mustafabad Pachenda
Sandeep’s ancestral home in Muzaffarnagar’s Mustafabad Pachenda (HT Photo)

From martyr’s to traitor’s village! It took an unpardonable misdeed of one of its lads to change the status of Muzaffarnagar’s Mustafabad Pachenda overnight.

Known as the village of Lance Nayak Bachan Singh, who sacrificed his life for the motherland during the Kargil war, the focus on Mustafabad Pachenda is now courtesy Sandeep Sharma alias Adil, the alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba member and perhaps the first Hindu militant from outside Jammu and Kashmir.

Sandeep was on Monday arrested by the J&K police, which claimed he could have been involved in the killing of SHO Feroz Dar and five more policemen last month. He was also involved in looting ATMs and banks in Kashmir, police said.

The village, of course, is shocked.

“He is not just a blot on the village but entire Hindu community,” said Bhopal Singh, village’s oldest resident.

Sitting in front of Sandeep’s ancestral house, he is part of group which is shocked with the developments.

The act is shocking and shameful and he deserves the harshest of punishment, echo all, even as septuagenarian Nutan Prakash Sharma declares, “He has committed an unpardonable sin by adopting Islam.”

While elders assemble together to discuss Sandeep’s deed, a young farmer Sompal Singh is worried over the implications his arrest will have on the Hindu community.

“I did receive a few telephone calls from Muslim friends who taunted me for always blaming the Muslims for terrorist activities. I had no answers,” he said while worrying over the cascading social effect of the arrest of a Hindu on terror charges.

Many have already started distancing themselves from the accused.

“I don’t think he has done his high school from here,” said Suresh Pal Singh, joint secretary of the management committee of Janata Inter College.

Insisting that Sandeep has ashamed the village, Singh said accused’s elder brother Praveen Sharma’s claim on terrorist’s schooling from here are not true.

The village has a population of over 13,000 people and members of different castes and community reside here peacefully.

It has only two Brahmin families.

“Sandeep’s great grandfather Hardutt Hakim and his grandfather Maya Ram had a good reputation and a landholding of over 300 bigha,” claimed octogenarian Bhopal Singh.

“However, other family members could not keep up the reputation over the years and lost their wealth,” he said.

Sandeep’s father Ramkumar got the job of welder in a local steel factory and Sandeep inherited the same profession.

His cousin Sonu Sharma of village Morna was also a welder and he introduced Sandeep to a lawyer contractor in Khajooribagh of Delhi who sent the duo to Kashmir for work.

Interestingly, majority of villagers have not seen Sandeep as the family sold out their ancestral house about 20 years ago and moved to city.

The condition of family deteriorated further after the death of family head Ram Kumar five years ago.

Sandeep’s elder brother Praveen along with his wife, mother and son, moved to single room rented house in Ankit Vihar under Nai Mandi police station.

Later, Praveen shifted to Hardwar and started operating an auto rickshaw to earn livelihood for the family.

He told media that Sandeep left home almost eight years ago and since then he was not in contact with the family.

Almost four months back, he had called to inform that he has got a job in Kashmir.

Police took him and his family for interrogation on Monday but released them late in the night.

Furious at his younger brother’s deed, Praveen said he would shoot his brother if he was found involved in anti-national activities.

Visibly embarrassed and shocked, mother and her daughter-in-law have locked themselves and are not interacting with anyone, confirmed neighbours Naveen Bansal and Ravindra Kumar.

Another neighbour Sudha, who runs a small general store, said the family was very poor and both women of the house earn their livelihood by cleaning utensils, making food and stitching falls in sarees.

She claimed Rekha could not admit her only son in school last year due to his poor financial condition.