A mob attacked a madrasa and pulled down its boundary wall at Behta village in Fatehpur district’s Bindaki area on Tuesday morning after beef was allegedly found at three places in the village, police said on Tuesday.
Police have registered two FIRs — one for the alleged cow slaughter and another for the attack on the madrasa. The FIR, filed under the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, has named Mushtaq (40), a resident of the village, who is currently absconding.
The second FIR has been filed against 60 unidentified persons in connection with the Tuesday’s violence.
“At Behta village, cow skin and intestine were found from behind the house of Mushtaq. After the police were informed about it, an FIR was registered against him. There was no such tension in the village. But on Tuesday morning, more meat and two legs of a cow were recovered from a pond behind the village primary school. Police were informed again, and we reached the spot. A veterinary doctor was also called to test the meat. The doctor confirmed that it was beef. While we were at the pond site burying the meat and the body parts, we received information that more meat with a calf head has been recovered from a local madrasa situated very close to Mushtaq’s house. Villagers started gathering there and soon they turned violent. Stones were pelted at the madrasa and its boundary wall was pulled down,” Superintendent of Police Ramesh said.
According to villager, a crowd of around 60 to 70 people from Behta and surrounding villages were involved in the violence, which started around 10 am and lasted nearly one-and-a-half hours, they said. Heavy police force has been deployed in the area.
District Magistrate of Fatehpur, Sanjeev Singh, said 60% of the total 1,200 people in the village are Hindus and the rest Muslims. He also said the madrasa that was attacked by the mob was not registered with the Madrasa Board and is run by a local trust. According to him, no classes were being held for the last three days in the madrasa, which has around 60 students.
A villager said the calf, which was found slaughtered, was being taken care by Mushtaq.
“Only recently a village resident, Dharmendra Singh, needed a calf for a religious ceremony. Dharmendra purchased the calf from Mushtaq. After the ritual was performed, Dharmedra let off the calf, but Mushtaq brought it back to his house. On Monday as foul smell started coming from near his house, we went to check and found skin of a red calf. By the colour we recognised that it was the same calf. On Tuesday more meat and body parts of the calf were recovered,” said Gora Singh, a resident of the village.
Meanwhile, 65-year-old Mahmood Khan, another resident of the village, alleged that Mushtaq was involved in such activities.
“We (Hindus and Muslims) always lived in a harmony, and now because of one person such a situation has arisen where people have started raising questions on our community. The accused, Mushtaq, has always been involved in such activities and several times he was caught using marijuana. He has a wife and three children. They all are absconding,” said Khan.
SP Ramesh, meanwhile, said that the cow could not have been slaughtered by one person, and they are trying to identify others who could have been involved in the activity. He said that police force has been deployed in the village to deal with any law and other situation. A search for Mushtaq is on, Ramesh added.