A day before Bakrid, tension prevailed in the industrial area of Bawana’s JJ Colony in Outer Delhi. While a section of the Jat community claimed their cattle were being stolen and sacrificed for the festival, a section of the Muslim community has alleged a mob pelted stones at them and threatened them.
On Sunday, the Jats called a meeting in Harevli village to form a committee to protect cattle. At the meeting, hundreds of people from 10-12 neighbouring villages assembled and pledged to abstain from eating non-vegetarian food, pray to God everyday and chant ‘Om’ for two minutes, protect cattle and admit them to gaushalas or treat them at hospitals if they were found injured.
Security was stepped up in the area. Commenting on the situation, DCP (Outer) Vikramjit Singh said, “There is adequate security in the area. There is no cause for worry.”
Tension has been simmering since October 2 when a 20-year-old scrapdealer was arrested for allegedly committing an unnatural act with a cow adjacent to a service station at Pooth Khurd in Bawana. Speaking to Newsline, the manager of Jai Mata Di service station Ved Prakash said, “There is a scrapyard adjacent to the service station, where the man came four days ago and stayed there. Around 11 am on October 2, one of our customers went till the scrapyard to relieve himself when he noticed something amiss. He informed us. By the time we went looking for the man, he had fled. Within a few hours, we caught him. He confessed he had committed an unnatural act with the animal. He was beaten up by local people and arrested by police.”
A senior police officer said a case under Section 377 IPC and sections of committing cruelty to animals has been registered.
Following Thursday’s incident, sections of the Hindu community gathered outside the service station and protested, demanding that their cattle be protected. The group caused a traffic jam for several hours at two intersections on the Bawana main road.
Sections of the Muslim community claimed otherwise. Kalimullah, the pradhan of JJ Colony, said, “On October 2, a scrapdealer was beaten up by a mob next to a petrol pump. The mob suspected him of stealing their cattle. In the afternoon, a group of 70-80 Hindu men came on motorcycles and began pelting stones in our area. They said they were here to check if we had stolen any cattle and were ill-treating them. They randomly began checking houses in the area, which angered people. The men also made a PCR call, saying there was a truck carrying cattle found in our area. When police came, the situation was brought under control.”
“In 2012 also, when Bakrid fell between October 27 and 28, men came and threatened to attack us, blaming us for stealing their cattle and sacrificing them. We have repeatedly told them that we kill goats for our festival. On Friday again, a mob came and shouted slogans. Following this, we told police personnel that they could tells our Hindu brothers that they were free to check our masjids if they felt we were stealing their cattle. But, they refused.”
Iqbal, a local resident, said, “Our children fear going to school. We fear they will be attacked if they are left alone. We have requested that security be stepped up.”
The Jats claimed on October 3, a truck carrying camels was seen in the JJ Colony area with the animals “brutally” stuffed inside. “Their tails had been chopped off and they were lying pressed against each other. We made a PCR call and a case was registered,” Mukesh Rana, a resident of Bawana gaon, said. He denied the Hindu community pelted stones and threatened Muslims.
Bawana’s JJ Colony area was created in 2004 by the Congress government, where those living in the slums in Saraswati Vihar, Nizamuddin and Yamuna Pushta relocated.