LUCKNOW: The ghost of exodus has returned to haunt Western Uttar Pradesh. This time, it’s Nandrauli village of Sambhal district.
A few families from minority community have fled the village owing to intimidation by persons of the other community following an incident of inter-faith elopement last week. The issue took a communal colour when some persons attacked and burnt the houses of minority community members as a village youth eloped with a married Hindu woman on May 10.
UP Minorities Affairs Minister Baldev Singh Aulakh has sought a detailed report from Sambhal district administration about the reported exodus of Muslim families. While talking to the media, he said that the CM had told authorities that the exodus of any community should not take place from any district of the state. “The culprits should be punished because the exodus of a community from the village is a shameful act. The government will take all necessary action after it gets the report,” Aulakh added. Meanwhile, six-term SP MLA from Sambhal constituency, Iqbal Mehmood, said that the issue would be raised in the state Assembly.
“Taking our daughters with us, we ran for six hours into the jungle, to escape the rioters. They followed us on bikes and searched for us through the night,” recalled Yasmeen, a resident of Nandrauli village. Yasmeen’s son had allegedly eloped with a married woman of the majority community from the village. “The families which have fled have taken shelter in adjacent towns and cities. They have refused to return and rejected the appeal of Badaun MP Dharmendra Yadav,” said Yasmeen.
Denying it to be an exodus, Sambhal SP Ravi Singh said that a few families, no doubt, had taken refuge at their relatives' place in the nearby places out of fear. “They will be back to their houses once normalcy will returns,” he added.
Sagir Ahmad of Nandrauli village said that the way persons of the other community struck the Muslim houses in the presence of cops created a fear among the minority community members."Most of the families have gone to their relatives in the nearby villages for the time being. Let the situation be normal, then we can think of a return," says Shanu Mian of the same village.
In the meantime, while the police administration has suspended the cops who failed to control the situation on May 10, seven trouble-makers and the youth who had eloped with the woman were arrested.