After few days of communal tension at Hansjipura and Dhaniyavi villages in Vadodara over alleged dumping of poultry farm waste in a pond shared by the two villages, leaders and elders from both the communities got together to resolve the matter on Wednesday.
The tension began after a 51-year-old Lakshman Babubhai, a resident of Hansjipura, filed a complaint at Dabhoi police station on Saturday, alleging that he was attacked by two men — Imran and Nizam— from neighbouring Dhaniyavi village when he objected to the dumping of poultry farm waste into the pond since it is a source of drinking water in his village.
Based on his complaint, police had arrested Imran and Nizam. They were later released on bail. Things escalated on Tuesday, when Babubhai complained to police that the duo accompanied by seven others from their village and armed with sticks and sharp-edged weapons assaulted him and threatened to kill him.
Police have booked all the nine accused under IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting), 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) among others. However, no one has been arrested, so far.
Muslims, on the other hand, have alleged that the Thakor community has been targeting the minority community by falsely accusing them in the case. They have alleged that the police was pressured to file a complaint against the nine persons as the entire Thakor community members had landed up at Varnama police station to file the complaint.
On Wednesday, they had initially planned to meet the Superintendent of Police and Collector of Vadodara Rural district and submit a memorandum, saying that the men from the community were being falsely accused in the case.
However, before submitting the memorandum, the leaders from both the communities got together and agreed to make a compromise.
“Both the villages are close by, and people have always lived in harmony. The person who has been named as an accused is a very simple man and has never been involved in any such crimes. Our leaders got together and decided that there was no point in escalating the matter and give it a communal colour. So, the Hindus decided that they will withdraw the case against the accused. Meanwhile, we have also decided that we would not file any cross complaint or submit any memorandum in the case to anyone,” a minority community leader from Dhanyavi told The Indian Express.
But with an FIR in place, the process of withdrawing the complaint will not be easy, according to the police.
“Once an FIR has been filed, investigation will be carried out as per the laid down procedure. During the investigation, if the complainant states that the allegations he/she has levied is untrue, then the case can not be proven against the accused. Till then, as per the procedure, police will go ahead with its investigation,” said Tarun Duggal, SP of Vadodara Rural.
Meanwhile, police said that there was no law and order problem in the area and security has been beefed in the area with regular patrolling by policemen to avoid any untoward incidents.