37 Muslims Arrested After a Clash With Dalits, CM Adityanath Orders Booking of Accused Under NSA and Gangsters Act
Syed Khalique Ahmed | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI/JAUNPUR(UP), JUNE 12—Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath has ordered that National Security Act and Gangster Act be invoked against the accused involved in Muslim-Dalit clashes in Bhadethi village under Sarai Khwaja Police Station of Jaunpur district in Eastern Uttar Pradesh.
As many as 37 persons have so far been arrested, all Muslims, in the case in which FIR has been lodged against 57 identified persons and 20-25 unidentified persons. Among the arrested persons include Shamsuddin Siddiqui and two of his brothers who run businesses in Chennai and Singapore. Siddiqui is also a Samajwadi Party leader and had once unsuccessfully contested assembly elections from Jaunpur Sadar assembly seat.
Meanwhile, Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sarai Khwaja Police Station Sanjiv Mishra has been sent to the lines and inquiry in the incident has been assigned to a senior police official. Varanasi Range Police officials and Jaunpur district superintendent of police and other officials visited the village after the incident on June 10 to take stock of the situation. Huge police force has been deployed in the village to prevent occurrence of any untoward incident.
The FIR lodged on a complaint from the Dalit community has named only Muslims as accused. A villager on conditions of anonymity told India Tomorrow over phone that most of the male members of the Muslim families have left the village for fear of being arrested by the police. The villager said that no Dalit has been arrested though many Muslims were also injured in the clash.
A clash incident took place on June 9 evening between Dalit and Muslim children when they were grazing their goats and buffaloes on the outskirts of the village. Elders of the two sides also reached there immediately on the spot but they also fought, resulting into injuries to some people from both sides. However, village ‘pradhan’(village head) struck a compromise between the two sides and the matter ended there.
However, an incident of fire took place in the night in which 10 huts belonging to Dalits were gutted and one or two goats also died. While Muslims denied their involvement, Dalits claimed that it were Muslims who committed the crime. The issue flared up after this.
The police complaint filed by a Dalit alleged that the fight between Dalit and Muslim boys began after the later hurled casteist slurs on the Dalit boys. The Muslim boys beat up Dalit boys when the latter opposed it. The FIR alleged that when family members of a Dalit boy went to the house of a Muslim boy to lodge a complaint, they were also abused. According to the FIR, 57 identified and 20-25 unidentified Muslims, armed with weapons, attacked the Dalits. Dalit women and children, according to the FIR, ran to the neighbouring village for shelter and Muslims burnt 10 Dalits huts in the night. But Muslims have denied the allegation.
While the accused have been booked on charges of rioting, attempt to murder as also under disaster Management Act and under SC/ST(Prevention of Atrocities) Act, CM Adityanath directed the administration to book the accused under NSA and Gangster Act and also provide houses to Dalit families under Chief Minister Avas Yojana.
Muslim villagers say that some local political leader want to exploit the incident for further strengthening their position in the constituency in which the village falls.