A day after communal tension gripped an Agra village over an alleged case of kidnapping, families are fleeing in fear. On Tuesday evening, following reports that a minor had allegedly kidnapped a minor girl from another community, a mob set shops on fire, leading to a riot-like situation.
Israr (32) runs a ration shop with his brother Abrar in the main market of Semra Village in Agra’s Ehtmadpur. He said that around 5 pm on Tuesday, he heard loud noises and a mob of almost 300 people approached his shop. “We were scared to death and I somehow ran away. But they did not spare the shop. They set it on fire, causing damage worth lakhs. As they broke and looted things, they kept telling me it was time for me to leave. Since the shop is lost, we have to move out. We are not safe here,” said Israr.
Several families left soon after midnight when the violence had died down, said local residents.
According to police, the family of a 15-year-old girl approached them when she did not return home after leaving for school at 7.30 am on Tuesday. An FIR under section 363 (kidnapping) was registered against a minor who lives in the same colony.
“Her classmates told us that she was going to school with them, but stopped near the colony where Muslims live. They proceeded to school, but she never joined. They said some boys from the colony would trouble her. We followed the legal process. It was a personal issue. We had no role to play in this riot,” said the girl’s father. Police said the girl and the boy knew each other. Police found them from a spot near Agra. “The FIR was filed promptly. Despite that, some people resorted to arson. About 2-3 shops caught fire. Due to timely intervention of police and PAC, further damage was avoided. The next step is to file an FIR against the rioters. Individual FIRs for damage done to shops will also be filed,” said Ravi Kumar, SP (West) Rural.
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