July 8, 2015 2:52:48 am
With the communal violence at Tikri Brahman village at Palwal in Haryana taking place close on the heels of rioting at Atali village less than 30 km away, police admit that the “charged atmosphere” in the Jat-dominated villages of the area is a cause of concern. In addition, police said the continuing demand for holding a ‘mahapanchayat’ by Jat villagers in Atali was contributing to the unrest.
At Tikri Brahman, communal clashes on Sunday had left 39 people injured. While police made 17 arrests after the rioting, they admitted that a “ripple effect” of the communal violence at Atali couldn’t be denied. IGP (South Range) Mamta Singh said, “The dispute was a simple one and it should have ended there. But there was already a charged atmosphere in the village. Atali is not very far away and this belt, which is dominated by Jats, has been slightly influenced by the developments there. There was a ripple effect which escalated the issue.”
Since the violence, a total of 350 police officers and RAF personnel have been deployed at the village. Senior officers, deployed at the spot, lead regular flag marches. The mosque in the village is heavily guarded while municipal workers have made repeated trips to the village to clear the debris left behind by the rioting. Police claim everything is calm at Tikri Brahman.
At Atali, the tension continues. With many Jat youth fleeing the village fearing arrests, demands for the release of arrested villagers have been mounting. “Our homes were also attacked. But only Hindus have been arrested. Police should also arrest Muslims or let our brothers go,” Satish Chaudhury, a villager, said.
He added that the Jat youth in the village were “planning to hold a mahapanchayat of Jat villages next week”.
Muslims from Atali had previously abandoned their homes, unsure of their safety and moved to the city area of Ballabhgarh. “They are now planning to make this an issue which isn’t simply about the village. They want to involve other villages. There are people in the Jat community in the village who want peace. But there are some who are continuing their agenda of spreading hatred,” he alleged.
Commissioner of Police (Faridabad) Subhash Yadav said the focus would continue on maintaining law and order. “We will not let anything disturb the situation at Atali. Arrests are being made and the court will decide the issue of the mosque.”
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