Tension in Sonepat village after mob attacks group offering namaz
Attackers were residents of Sandal Kalan village, CCTV footage being studied; nine of the injured admitted to civil hospital in Sonepat even as security stepped up
Tension prevailed at Sandal Kalan village in Haryana’s Sonepat district on Monday, a day after a mob of 20 armed men allegedly attacked people offering prayers and vandalised a mosque.
Police said nine people were injured in the incident that took place around 9pm on Sunday when people were offering Ramzan prayers in the one-room mosque, built by “community funding”.
The armed men were residents of the same village, they said, adding the police have recovered CCTV footage of the area in which the attackers can be seen carrying bamboo sticks and roaming the streets freely.
Nine of the injured were admitted to civil hospital in Sonepat. Two of them were discharged after treatment and the remaining seven have been referred to Bhagat Phool Singh medical college for women at Khanpur Kalan in Sonepat.
Security was tightened in the village. Sonepat police commissioner B Satheesh Balan visited the village and said that an FIR has been registered against 18 accused by name and other unknown persons under various sections of the Indian penal code pertaining to hurting religious sentiments. “10 people have been arrested while six have been detained. An investigation is underway,” he said.
“Out of the 10 arrested, three accused- Punit, Sumit and Harbir have been taken on one-day remand after producing them in Sonepat court. Strict action will be taken against the accused and the security will be provided to the families of injured, until they ask to revoke it after restoration of peace. Nearly 70 cops have been deployed in the village to maintain peace and both the communities urged police to take strict measures against the accused persons and ensure that not a single innocent person faces police action,” Balan added.
Balan said it was an unprovoked attack and there was no previous incident which would have caused tension between communities.
One of the injured, Sabir Ali, said the attackers suddenly barged into the mosque and started abusing them. “Then, they attacked us with sticks and sharp-edged weapons. They did not spare women and children. This is an attempt to create a communal divide. We respect every religion and had never seen such an incident in the village earlier,” he added.
Both communities hold panchayat
The members of both the communities conducted a panchayat on Monday evening and unanimously agreed to restore peace in the area and help police investigation so that accused get strict punishment and attempts to create communal violence foiled.
Second incident in Sonepat
This is the second incident in which Muslim men have been attacked on Sonepat. On March 31, the police had arrested five persons for allegedly hoisting a saffron flag atop a mosque in Sonepat’s Kharkhauda. The police had booked 15-20 persons after right-wing activists barged into the mosque and attacked Muslim men who were offering prayers. The incident occurred when the accused were taking out a procession on the occasion of Ram Navami.