Three days after mob attacks in Ghaziabad left six dead and 24 injured,a fresh FIR was filed against nearly 5,000 unidentified rioters.
The FIR has triggered a second wave of exodus from Masuri and neighbouring villages,where a mob attacked the police station after allegedly finding torn pages of the Quran strewn near the railway tracks.
Several sections of the Indian Penal Code have been used in the report,including those pertaining to murder,attempt to murder,rioting,rioting with a deadly weapon and destruction of government property.
The complaint was filed by the now suspended station house officer of Masuri,P K Singh. It stated that the policemen at the station tried to pacify the people in the crowd.
When they came with the torn pages of the Quran with a number on it,we tried to tell them that the phone number on it would be put under surveillance, the FIR read.
The complaint said after the crowd became violent and set vehicles on fire,police first fired rubber bullets and tear gas shells at the mob. After the crowd started shooting at the police station,senior officer gave the orders for return firing or the close to 30 persons at the police station would perish.
As the news of FIR against nearly 5,000 people spread,residents began to leave the area,fearing police action.
Among the areas,from where people fled,are Masuri,Karim Nagar,Rafiqabad and Aslam Nagar.
Since we now know that 5,000 have been named in the FIR,people are afraid of being picked up and want to leave. Even if some are staying back,they are sending their young boys away, said Aslam Khan,a resident of Rafiqabad.
As a result,though Section 144 being lifted from the Masuri-Dasna region between 11 am and 4 pm on Monday,the area still wore a deserted look. Most shops were closed.
Residents claimed that they felt trapped for no fault of theirs,with several pointing towards an ongoing issue between meat factories in the area as a probable cause for the violence.
There have been protests against pollution and stench from meat factories. This could have caused the riot, a resident said.
Police confirmed that inquiries into this angle were part of the investigation.