Four Muslims were arrested from Gopalpura village of Burhanpur district after one of them allegedly spoke about the death of a cow owned by a fellow Muslim, which turned out to be a rumour but led to communal tension in the area.
The incident happened late Sunday when one Raju Pathan, who owns a paani-puri stall, rushed home after Amin Nawaz told him that his cow had died. When he reached home, Raju found his cow to be alive. Yogesh Mahajan, a Hindu farmer, who had also gone to Raju’s home, then asked him to identity the man who had spread the rumour.
When Raju and Yogesh returned to the stall, Amin admitted that he was behind the rumour. However, Amin and his accomplice, Iqbal, then allegedly beat up Yogesh, accusing him of hurling abuses at the Muslim community.
As members from both communities gathered, the administration was forced to rush police personnel from Shahpur and Shikarpura police stations to control the situation.
Later, four Muslims — Amin Nawaz, Salim Usman, Itbar Pathan and Latif Pathan — were booked under sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 294 (obscene acts and songs), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC and taken into preventive custody.
“I had gone to Raju Pathan’s home to engage his family members as labourers at my farm when he came home worried. We found the cow safe and returned to his stall. When I asked who spread the rumour, Amin owned it up, abused me and slapped me,’’ Yogesh, 36, told The Indian Express insisting that he was not associated with any cow protection campaign.
Additional SP Manoj Rai described it as a minor incident.