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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

43 Muslims booked after BJP MLA alleges buffalo meat biryani served to Hindus in UP feast

BJP lawmaker alleged that Hindus were served biryani containing buffalo meat at a local shrine without informing them.

lucknow Updated: Sep 06, 2019 11:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
Biryani with Buffalo meat served to Hindu devotees.
Biryani with Buffalo meat served to Hindu devotees. (HT photo( Representational image))

The Mahoba police have registered an FIR against 43 Muslim men for promoting enmity between groups on religious grounds after a BJP lawmaker alleged that they served biryani containing buffalo meat to Hindu devotees at a local shrine without informing them, the police said.

Police officers said BJP MLA Braj Bhushan Rajput intervened and ensured that a case was registered. The complainant, Rajkumar Raikwar, offered to give an affidavit to withdraw the FIR, but “he has been forced not to do so”, police officials privy to the matter said.

Superintendent of police, Mahoba, Swami Nath said 23 people were named in the FIR and the remaining 20 were not named. Even those unidentified were referred to as Muslims in the complaint.

“Police are investigating the case. As of now, (there’s) nothing as such that anyone was forced to have biryani or were they tricked into having it,” he said.

“The situation is normal in the village,” he said. The case was registered under Sections 153 A (promoting enmity between groups on religious grounds), 420 (cheating), 295 A (malicious acts) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, the police said.

The alleged incident took place in Salat village of Mahoba on August 31 during an ‘urs’ (annual religious congregation) at a local shrine.

Pappu Mansoori, caretaker of the shrine, said the ‘urs’ was being organised for the past many years.

Both Hindus and Muslims attend the ‘urs’ and the faithful organise bhandara (feast) for them. This year, there were two stalls from which puri-sabzi and biryani was given to the people who came from 13 villages in large numbers.

“One Kalloo Qazi, who was offering thanksgiving on fulfilment of a wish, had distributed chicken biryani and people had it on their own volition; the entire thing was twisted out of context and (it was) rumoured that buffalo meat mixed with rice was served to them,” he said

The issue was settled after a panchayat convened on September 2 decided Kalloo would pay Rs 50,000 as cost of travel to Prayagraj where those who had eaten biryani would bathe in the Sangam to purify themselves, said Braj Gopal Kushwaha, the village head. Thereafter, the police were informed about the decision, he said. Both the parties even had written to the police that it was a non-issue, he said.

However, the BJP MLA arrived with his supporters on September 3 and alleged that Hindus devotees were deliberately given rice mixed with buffalo meat without alerting them.

Rajput said the Hindus were fed biryani as part of a conspiracy.

They were told that it was sweet rice, but when they ate it they found pieces of meat, he alleged.

At the panchayat, Kalloo Qazi admitted he had served biryani and agreed to repent by paying Rs 50,000 for ‘shuddikaran’ (purification) and recital of the Bhagwat Gita, he claimed.

“The Muslims were clearly deceitful. Among Hindus, prasad (consecrated food) doesn’t have even onion and garlic. But here, there was meat to hurt religious sentiments,” he said, adding the Muslims from outside the village were involved in the conspiracy.

“There are only four Muslim families in Salat village and organising ‘urs’ on such a scale is beyond their capacity,” he said.

The MLA also said the shrine was of a fakir who never existed and the ‘urs’ was held only for the last two years.

“The forest department has found the shrine was built illegally on its land in violation of Supreme Court orders,” he alleged.