Communal Tensions In Atali, Haryana
By Janhastakshep – A campaign against fascist designs
27 May, 2015
Communal tensions in Atali village of Ballabgarh Division – A preliminary report of fact finding team.
Communal tensions in Atali village of Ballabgarh Division, Faridabad district, Haryana, are far from dying down. Even today (27.05.2015) many unfortunate incidents unfolded that made minority community feel further scared and vulnerable.
• One person was attacked with axes
• One person who was taken into custody had to be released under pressure from the majority community
• Cattle feed of the minority community was burnt down despite heavy police presence
Hasnu, 60, took out his animals for grazing in the afternoon. Around 2.30 pm, he was attacked with axes by four persons from the majority community. He was bleeding heavily when police intervened to rescue him. He is battling for his life in Badshah Khan hospital in Faridabad.
He is not the only one in BK hospital. Four more persons are admitted in the hospital since Monday evening, when the majority community attacked the minority on the issue of construction of a mosque. Hindus of the village show intolerance towards the mosque as it is being built next to a temple. While Muslims claim that they have the right to construct as the land belongs to Waqf Board. In a recent order, SDM of the area upheld this claim.
After Monday’s violence, in which at least 20 Muslim households selectively were broken and burnt down, most of them fled the village. 200-odd persons are staying in Ballabgarh police station out of fear of their own neighbours. Two buses full of them went to Atali last evening to check out the possibility of shifting back. But did not find the situation good enough to go back on two counts – most of the belongings are burnt or broken, and they did not feel safe in their own village after abuses were hurled at them. In relation to violence on Monday evening, police raided the village and took one person in custody. But Hindus in the village engaged in violence with the police and he had to be released under severe pressure. A police officer said that he had to be released to de-escalate the situation.
At around 2.30 pm, same time as attack on Hasnu, the entire cattle feed of the minority community was burnt down. 10-15 Muslims who are left in the village have been making frantic calls to friends, asking to rescue them.
Tensions in the village had been brewing since Wednesday, May 20, 2015, merely two days after the CM’s visit to inaugurate a power station, when an incident of stone pelting among the two communities was reported. Police of the area was camping in the village since then. On Friday, 22nd, construction of the mosque started. On Monday, 25th, morning Hindus threatened the Muslims living near the mosque saying “We will build your mosque at 3.00 pm,” said Hasina, 55 (name changed), who has taken shelter in Ballabgarh police station. She said that the police convinced them that they need not fear. Victims confirmed that SHO of Chhainsa Babulal Rathi withdrew the force for at least three hours. By 5.00 pm a big mob of Hindus came to their area and started burning the houses down. They beat up many men, women and children. Among the 14 people who were taken to Ballabgarh Government Hospital, six were women and one child. Thirteen are Muslims, who reached the hospital on Monday evening. One Hindu was brought to the hospital on Tuesday morning.
Victims informed that meeting of the Hindu right were being held for three days since the construction of the mosque started. These meetings, which took place in the village, had many elements from outside too.
Questionable role of the police:
In the light of above facts and after speaking to many victims, Janhastakshep thinks that the role of police in the episode is questionable.
If the tensions prevailed since Wednesday, how could such arson be possible? Administration is proving to be ineffective. It can be intentional too. If there can be arson and violence despite heavy police presence, then this has to be investigated.
The police has not provided any food and water to the victims in the police station. Non-governmental organizations have been arranging for the same.
Unfortunately, Police is still forcing them to go back, without arranging for proper security.
Due to suspicious role of the police over the last there days, victims don’t trust them and do not want to go back under their supervision. Janhastakshep demands that a central police force is deployed to build trust and give security to the minority community. It’s unfortunate that despite so many days of violence, no central force has been deployed.
The five member Janhastakshep team demands:
1. The culprits should be arrested immediately and FIRs be lodged against them.
2. Proper compensation and security should be ensured to the victims. Central
force should be deployed to instill confidence and ensuring security
3. Judicial enquiry into role of the administration and police should be conducted
Anil Dubey: 9811080915
Rajesh Kumar: 9810812167
Parthiv Kumar: 9818343604
Ajay Verma: 9013677857
Jyotsna Singh: 9999332811
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