A Day after two Muslim groups clashed over the ownership of a blackberry (jamun) tree in Pratapgarh district’s Gobi Mahuaban village, tension broke out on Sunday after unidentified assailants set ablaze six huts belonging to members of the Muslim community.
Although no one was injured on Sunday, four persons, including a Hindu youth, had suffered pellet injuries in Saturday’s clash. Police suspect that the accused assailants who torched Muslim huts located on the border of the village on Sunday are supporters of Saurabh, son of Sanjay Singh who is the pradhan of neighbouring Babu Chura village.
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While heavy police force has been deployed in the area to maintain peace, Station House Officer (SHO) of Lalganj police station, Sabajeet Mishra, has been suspended for dereliction of duty, Superintendent of Police Balikaran Yadav said.
IG, Allahabad Zone, B B Sharma said the ownership of the tree is claimed by families of Rahoof and Farooq, both village residents. On Saturday afternoon, women of both families entered into a heated argument. Farooq, who works as a driver for Sanjay Singh, called in Singh’s two sons Saurabh and Manoj for intervention. Upon their arrival, Farooq’s family started pelting stones at Rahoof’s house, to which a relative of the latter’s group, one Shoaib, responded by opening fire. Four persons, including Farooq and Saurabh, suffered pellet injuries.
Soon, the police arrived at the spot and took the injured to the hospital. While Farooq has been referred to Allahabad, condition of others is said to be stable.
Late Saturday night, officers at the Lalganj police station registered an FIR against Rahoof and four others.