A one-month-old infant allegedly fell from his mother’s lap on Saturday and died — during a clash between members of Barelvi and Deobandi sects in Kushinagar district.
The police said the two groups had clashed on Friday as well at Nautan Hardo village in the district’s Turqpatti area after the Deobandis stopped Barelvis from offering namaz at a mosque, claiming that it belonged to them. While the police had brought the situation under control on Friday, it escalated again today.
Three members from each group were arrested after cross-FIRs were lodged by both sects on charges of rioting, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace, criminal intimidation and house trespass.
In a separate complaint to the police on Saturday, Noor Haseena — a member of the Deobandi sect — has blamed Khanullah, a Barelvi, for the death of her child.
Circle Officer (CO) Nitesh Pratap Singh of Sadar police said: “On Friday evening, Deobandis, who claim the mosque belongs to them, got into a verbal spat with Barelvis when the latter arrived at the mosque to offer prayers…. Both sides have been praying at the mosque for long and there was no dispute. The argument led to a clash, leaving two persons from the Barelvi sect injured.”
The situation was brought under control after the police used force to disperse the crowd. “Both groups were summoned to the police station…they promised that they will maintain peace,” the CO said. Station House Officer (SHO) Durgesh Singh of Turqpatti police said that on Saturday morning, some Deobandi youths were allegedly manhandled by members of the other sect. “This again led to a clash and three people from Deobandi sect sustained injuries. A police team again rushed to the spot and pacified the two groups. Three people each from the two sects were arrested,” he said.
The SHO said that in the afternoon, Noor Haseena arrived at the police station and alleged that her son had died after he fell from her lap while she was trying to intervene in the clash earlier in the day. “She claimed that one Khanullah had suddenly pushed her, at which her son slipped out of her lap and fell on the road. Doctors declared him dead on arrival at the nearest hospital,” the SHO said.
Based on Haseena’s complaint, Khanullah was booked on charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. “He is yet to be arrested. We are waiting for the postmortem report to confirm the cause of death,” the SHO said.
Police bandobast has been raised at Nautan Hardo village in the district