In a seemingly similar incident to 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots where communal clashes erupted after a “harassment” incident between the Jat and Muslim communities, another city in Uttar Pradesh is witnessing similar situation.
Bijnor in western Uttar Pradesh saw tension brewing on Friday, after three male members of a Muslim family were shot dead for protesting again alleged harassment of a minor female member of their family. The incident was reported from Peda village in Bijnor at around 7am on Friday when the minor girl, accompanied by her brother, was going to her school. The minor, a student of Class IX, was stopped not far from her home by a group of 5-6 youth, whom the local claim to be from the Jat community.
When Talib, the brother of the minor victim intervened the situation aggravated and after returning he found his uncle, named Aslam, engaged in a heated argument with some of the youth.
“As soon as Talib intervened the argument he was beaten up badly. Some locals rescued him from the mob and both Aslam and Talib entered their home, “said Imrana, the mother of the harassed teenaged girl.
Eyewitness accounts gathered from the locals of Peda village, around late evening several locals had gathered around Talib’s home to witness the commotion as the youth who had allegedly harassed the girl had not left the area. The youth initially left after seeing the crowd but threatened to come with more people and punish the family for misbehaving with them. Sensing trouble, locals called police and claimed that two cops had arrived on spot. As per dna report, the victim’s family said that even as they were treating Talib for his injuries, a group of more than 20 people started firing at their house and at anyone whom they could spot.
“Families of six brothers live in this household and all the male members were shot at. The women were beaten and abused. The firing continued for half an hour and then the attackers entered our homes and threatened us with rape. We are poor people who should we look towards for justice,” said another female member of the household.
A total of 17 people were injured in the attack with one Rizwan, said to be in a critical condition. Three male members, named Aneesu, Sarfaraz and Ehsan, succumbed to bullet injuries. While 12 others, including women and children, are currently being treated at the district hospital, four family members, were referred to a hospital in Meerut. “We have no one by our side. We are powerless in front of them but that doesn’t take away our right to justice. Those who killed my family members should be held accountable and the two policemen who stood there while my family was being shot at should be punished, I don’t want to weep because the females here don’t know that three of our family members have been killed,” he added pointing out towards the female family members who were being treated at the district hospital.
Another relative Shahnawaz, said , “There were bullets flying from all sides and the attackers were abusing and laughing at us when we ran for cover. I can’t comprehend the tragedy that our family is witnessing.”
The police has managed to detain six members of the Jat community , no FIR has been lodged. Senior police officials have said (DNA) that the five detained men were being interrogated but did not respond to queries regarding recoveries of weapons used in the attack. “We suspect that 16-17 people were involved in the attack. The FIR will be registered after preliminary questioning of the suspects,” said a senior UP police official.