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Sultanpur tense after clash, some residents prepare to leave

While both sides have given different reasons for the clash, police have lodged a case on the complaint of one side and detained 27 people on charges of breach of peace.

Written by Asad Rehman | Sultanpur |
August 8, 2020 6:07:16 am
sultanpur clash, sultanpur Hanumanganj clash, sultan pur riots, sultanpur police, indian express news Mohammad Farooq leaves Hanumanganj area of Sultanpur with his family in a rented SUV on Friday. (Photo by Asad Rehman)

Tension has prevailed in Hanumanganj area of Sultanpur district since a clash broke out between two communities on Wednesday evening.

While both sides have given different reasons for the clash, police have lodged a case on the complaint of one side and detained 27 people on charges of breach of peace.

Many belonging to the community facing the case have left the area fearing police action, while some others are preparing to leave for “safer places”.

SP (Sultanpur) Shiv Hari Meena, when contacted, said a case would be lodged from the other side if needed.

SHO Dehat Devendra Singh said that seven people have been named in the FIR — lodged under IPC sections including rioting, attempt to murder and Criminal Law Amendment Act. Saddam, Akram, Waqeel Ahmad, Shami and Wasim have been arrested, and Nadeem and Aslam will be arrested soon, the police said.

On Friday, Mohammad Farooq (45), a vegetable vendor, was seen leaving in a hired SUV along with 10 family members. “Why would I stay here? The police have taken action only on one side, and entered our homes and beat up people,” he said.

Mohammad Saeed (50), who owns a brick kiln nearby, said, “Most of the Muslims here are leaving due to fear of attack.” His four family members have already left.

Several people The Indian Express spoke to alleged that police entered homes and misbehaved with women and children.

Asia Bano (35), who has four children, alleged the police and some other people entered her house, beat up men and misbehaved with women. “I have sent my husband and sons to a relative’s house,” she said.

Asked about people leaving, the SP said, “I went to the spot today. No one is migrating. If someone wants to leave, we can’t do anything. We have deployed police there and no injustice will be done.”

Regarding the incident on Wednesday, a complaint lodged by one Mohammad Ahmad has alleged that around 80 people, including one Satyendra Upadhyay, burst crackers in front of a mosque and raised anti-Muslim slogans. “They were asked to not do it and a call was made to 112 (police helpline). Then they entered homes and beat up people. Policemen also entered the mosque and indulged in vandalism, this was led by Upadhyay,” says the complaint.

Upadhyay is a BJP leader and holds the post of zila sah-sanyojak, said Sultanpur district BJP chief Dr R A Verma.
Asked why an FIR had not been lodged based on this complaint, SP Meena said, “They are the ones who beat up people. During investigation, if we find that FIR needs to be lodged, we will do so.”

Upadhyay said, “On Wednesday evening, sweets were being distributed and diyas lit for the bhoomi pujan at Ayodhya. Mohammad Akram was drunk and started abusing outside a shop owned by Ram Dhiraj Verma — as Verma’s son is in RSS. He also abused one Satyam and beat him up. By then, there was a crowd. Akram beat one Kuldeep Modanwal. Then, some Muslims gathered and entered the Modanwals’ house and assaulted people with lathis, stones and axe. A police officer, Abdul Qadir, picked up one person from the Modanwal side… Then the power went off, and a crowd of 300 people came with lathis… Later the police came and the crowd was chased away.”

Upadhyay said that four people were injured, and “around 50 youths have left the area due to fear of police”.

SP Meena said that Saddam and Akram assaulted people. “I have evidence for this,” he said.

On the allegation of policemen entering homes, he said, “Should we not catch people and let them fight? Should we let them create chaos? Police can’t sit with their hands folded. I will ensure that justice is done in the case.”

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