FIVE MUSLIM families, who had fled Upeda village in Hapur after Hindus and Muslims clashed last week, returned home on Sunday, following assurances from senior officials and deployment of heavy police force in the area.
An FIR was lodged over the alleged attack on the Muslim youths, following which, two persons have been arrested. According to the police complaint, Shaqib and his cousins — Sameer and Suhel — along with their uncle Sabu, were returning from a mosque after offering prayers on March 29 when four youths made objectionable comments related to their religion. Shaqib, the complainant, alleged that the youths threatened them not to wear skull caps.
He added that while they avoided an argument and returned home, four of the youths followed and attacked them. Shaqib’s father Nizam said when he and his cousin Saleem Khan tried to intervene, they too were assaulted. The four assailants later left, he added.
“An FIR has been registered against the four accused — Nanu, Sandeep, Prince and a juvenile — on charges, including promoting enmity between two groups on ground of religion. Nanu and Sandeep were arrested a day after the incident and both are lodged at Dasna Jail in Ghaizabad,” Babugarh police SHO Jitendra Kumar said.
When contacted, Saleem Khan said that fearing further attacks, they decided to send their families to a safer place.
“Five families — mine, Nizam’s and of our cousins Ishan, Shabbir and Iqbal — left the village. Me and Nizam stayed back to take care of our houses and animals. Following assurances from senior officials in the area, we asked them to return home on Saturday,” he added.Babugarh Circle Officer Shiv Prasad Dubey, however, denied that families had left the village fearing any attacks.
“They had gone to their relatives,” he said. Hapur SP Hemant Kutiyal said that situation was under control in the village.