KARNAL: Tension prevailed in Panipat on Tuesday as around ten copies of holy book of Quran were allegedly burnt by unidentified miscreants in the industrial city on Monday.
A large number of Muslims gathered at Panipat secretariat and demanded action against those responsible for the act.
While assuring a strict action against the culprits, deputy commissioner Sameer Pal Srow has appealed to all sections of the society to maintain peace. Irfan Ali, a Muslim leader from Panipat, told Hindustan Times over phone on Tuesday that 10 to12 copies of the holy book were found missing on Monday from a shop hired by Muslims living near Kutani road for community recitation of the holy book.
The set was allegedly found burnt in a tandoor kept at an adjacent dhabha.
He alleged that Ram Singh, a local resident, quarrelled with some Muslims on last Thursday and had threatened them.
However, he clarified that Singh was in an inebriated condition and the community had not pointed a direct finger at anyone for hurting its sentiments.
"We had duly registered the incident of verbal duel and it is up to the police to verify if Singh had any direct or indirect role behind the crime. But it is a matter of fact that Ram Singh was providing free water service to the Muslim gathering before our prayers," said Ali.
He said that on Monday, it was found that holy books kept at the place of community prayers were missing and later these were traced in a burnt condition at a nearby dhabha.
Police sources said as the dhabha owner came to his shop he found fire in the tandoor outside. On sifting through the ashes, he found traces of the holy book.
"The material used in the printing and binding the holy books does not get burnt completely. The quality led us to trace the book remains from a heap of ash," said Ali.
He said that some people from various communities might try to give communal colour to the unfortunate incident, but the local Muslims had made an appeal to everyone to maintain peace.
Meanwhile, the Panipat DC met a Muslim delegation and assured them administration's full support.
In a statement, the DC said that a police complaint had already been registered and nobody would be allowed to disturb communal harmony in the district.
"The administration urges various sections of the society to contact the district authorities for any complaint. They should not allow anyone to take political mileage out of this condemnable incident," said the DC.