Amidst continuing tension and distrust, hint of a resolution emerged after the Jat and Muslim communities from Atali village met on Tuesday at Ballabgarh. The Jat delegation asked the Muslims to return, promising that they will allow them to construct the mosque at the disputed site.
Meanwhile, the district administration also promised that action will be taken against the accused named in the FIRs. The Muslim community has promised to decide by Wednesday morning, after consulting with village elders, if and when they will return to the village any time soon.
The prime point of discord was the construction of a mosque on land which was disputed by the two communities. While Muslims maintain the mosque is being built on Waqf Land, the Jats in the village say that the land belongs to the Gram Panchayat. The issue became the flashpoint for the rioting that saw 2,000 heavily armed men torch down Muslims homes in an hour-long rampage that left 15 people injured. Since then almost 150 Muslim villagers have been camping at Ballabgarh police station.
“Previously, the Jats from the village had said that we could build our mosque but not immediately and with conditions. Arrests were also to be made, but not immediately. Now they’re saying that construction on the mosque will begin before Ramzan later this month. The district administration has also assured us that those who have been named in the FIR will definitely be arrested,” said Nizam Ali, who attended the meeting.
The meeting took place on Tuesday at the SDM office, a few meters away from the police station where the Muslims have been taking refuge. The Jat delegation from the village, was accompanied by village elders from neighbouring villages. “We all want peace. We don’t want the violence to spread. Muslims and Hindus have always lived peacefully in Faridabad and the sooner this ends, the better it is for everyone,” said Om Chaudhury, a villager from the neighboring Chhainssa.
The police, meanwhile, continued the heavy deployment at Atali village. They said this would continue irrespective of Wednesday’s pact. Vishnu Dayal, ACP Tigaon said, “There is peace at Atali village. But the deployment of extra personnel is still there. We are not going to take any chances.”
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