Rae Bareli police have booked five persons, including a former village pradhan, for rioting and criminal intimidation after a 38-year-old labourer accused them of setting fire to his house in an alleged attempt to kill him and his family in sleep. The alleged incident took place at Ataganj Prakaso village under Salon police station on Sunday morning.
Police said that Dev Prakash, who recently converted to Hinduism from Islam, in his complaint alleged that former village pradhan and others were angry with him for converting and had threatened him earlier.
However, on preliminary inquiry, police suspect that Dev Prakash was allegedly trying to grab land near his house by putting up idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses in a plot belonging to one of the accused.
“In the preliminary investigation, we have come to know there was a land dispute between the complainant (Dev Prakash) and one of the accused. We are taking the help of forensic in probe,” Superintendent of Police (Rae Bareli) Shlok Kumar said.
No one has been arrested so far, he added.
Station House Officer of Salon Pankaj Tripathi said after converting to Hinduism last September, Dev Prakash put a concrete slab on neighbour Akbar’s plot and installed idols of Gods and Goddesses on it.
“When Akbar’s son Imtiyaz objected to, a heated argument took place between them. A police team reached there and directed Dev Prakash to remove the idols,” said the SHO.
Imtiyaz is one of the five persons named in the FIR.
Dev Prakash, however, did not remove the idols from the plot.
On Sunday, Dev Prakash filed a complaint with the police alleging when he and children were asleep, someone locked them in his house from outside and set it on fire. Dev Prakash said that they were able to escape from the house after breaking the back door.
A fire tender was sent to the village to douse the fire. During investigation, police found that electric wiring of the house was cut from the meter placed at the main door of the residence.
The five persons named in the FIR are former village pradhan Ali Ahmed, Tahir, Dwarika Singh, Rehan and Imtiyaz. They have been booked under IPC sections 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent destroy house, etc), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 147 (rioting).
Meanwhile, additional police force has been deployed in the village, where 70 per cent population is Hindu.