September 14, 2013 3:58:54 am
Three more bodies have been recovered from a canal near Jauli village in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar. Police believe the bodies,fished out of the water over the past 48 hours,are of Jats who were attacked while on their way back from the mahapanchayat in Kawaal on September 7.
Police sources said they believed this attack was the flashpoint that triggered the Jat reprisal in the region and led to the killing of more than two dozen Muslims.
At least 13 tractor trollies were on the way back (from the mahapanchayat) when they were waylaid. They were attacked near a bridge by people with guns, a senior police officer said.
Police said a large number of Muslims had gathered after hearing of the death of Insaar Vakeel earlier in the day. Mahapanchayat participants had attacked Vakeel and his
family near Shahpur,and then bound and taken Vakeel to Kawaal as a prize catch. He was killed as he tried to escape. Also,there were rumours in the area that two Muslim women had been killed the same day.
All this provoked the mob collect and attack the group. Word of the killing of the Jats spread quickly across the district,who then decided to exact revenge, the officer said.
As the trolleys approached the bridge,the mob that had gathered opened fire on them, the officer said. He said that a contingent of the Provincial Armed Constabulary stationed at the spot called for extra forces which,however,took 30 minutes to reach.
Sources claimed that at least seven people were killed before reinforcements arrived. The police were caught between the two sides. The Jats were armed with knives and sticks. While the police engaged the mob,the Jats abandoned the trolleys and fled into the fields, another official said.
Sources in the district administration said the mob set fire to at least 13 trollies,and pushed a few into the canal. We have received information that at least four more people were killed in the incident,but no more bodies have been found yet, an official said.
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