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Roorkee Ground Report: Dada Jalalpur Still Tense, Several Muslim Families Flee

NewsClick visited Dada Jalalpur village, spoke to both the communities and tried to know what really happened on that Hanuman Jayanti night.

Roorkee: The atmosphere is still tense in Dada Jalalpur village of Bhagwanpur area in Roorkee, Uttarakhand. While several Muslim families have fled the village, many among the Hindu community, led by some ‘Mahants-Saints’ are demanding the arrest of other Muslim families. The police have so far arrested 11 members of the Muslim community among 12 named person and 40 unknown persons in the FIR.

What Happened on April 16 Night

NewsClick spoke to members of both Hindu and Muslim communities to find out how the events unfolded on Hanuman Jayanti night, leading to violence in the area.

There is a Shiva temple in the heart of Dada Jalalpur village. There was peace around the temple at 3 p.m. People were inside their homes and policemen posted on the spot were also resting in a compound. Naveen Saini of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh told NewsClick that the Hanuman Jayanti procession ended on late night on 16 April at this Shiva temple.

Describing the route of the Shobha Yatra, Saini claimed that when the procession entered Dada Jalalpur in the evening, slogans of 'Allahu Akbar' and 'Pakistan Zindabad' were raised from a Muslim house (this has not been corroborated by any report or person). "After that our boys also raised slogans of Jai Shri Ram, after which stone pelting started from that house," he alleged.

The Shiva temple is located at the corner of a street, on the road that connects straight to Dada Patti. There is a lane on the street that leads to Muslim homes. The procession did not come directly from the road but from this lane.

Mehak Ara, who has been living alone in her house since the past two days, said when the procession entered the lane, lond songs were playing on the DJ. One house (mentioned by Saini) raised an objection to this and asked the crowd to move ahead. The procession did not move and an argument began which later took the shape of violence.

“When I heard the uproar, I went to the terrace and saw that the procession was there. I told to myself that they are worshippers and will move on.  People from that house (mentioned by Saini) came out and started arguing. Soon things went out of hand. There was stone-pelting, even from Hindus. So many stones landed on my terrace, smashed by neighbour’s car. Some people barged in and took away Rs 50,000 from my home.  The local Hindus should have intervened and sent away those outsiders. We live with so much mutual love here,” she said.

There are two obvious answers to how the violence started, one from the Hindus and the other from the Muslims. Naveen, however, admitted that stone- pelting and violence was equal from both sides.

Further describing the incident, Saini said: "Our boys did not lag behind when the stone pelting started, we also responded enthusiastically. When the clashes escalated, the administration intervened and tried to stop the violence. After that, BJP leader Jai Bhagwan Saini and Master Satyapal reached here, followed by leaders of Bajrang Dal, who decided to take out the yatra again."

NewsClick had earlier reported how the procession was restarted at 1 pm in the presence of heavy police force and leaders of BJP, Bajrang Dal, with video showing that songs like 'Mulla Pakistani' were being played.

Mehak Ara alleged that along with stone pelting, the mob also entered some houses. In fear and panic, their neighbours fled the house the same night, while some others left the next day.

When a mob reached Mehak Ara's neighbour Aleem's house, he jumped down from the roof with his wife and children. His leg was injured and his wife is still in hospital, she said.

‘We Hoped Bulldozers Would Work, but Didn’t’

According to media reports and some villagers, on Sunday, one bulldozer was stationed in the village and the police allegedly threatened all the accused Muslims to surrender else their houses would be razed.

Saini said: "There was a lot of expectation from the bulldozer, but nothing happened. We had heard of so much happening in UP. But everyone has left the village after the arrival of the bulldozer."

However, after talking to the police, Saini shrugged off the bulldozer narrative, claiming that it had been brought for mining purposes.

Both Communities Unhappy With Police

While members of the Hindu community are questioning why there was not adequate force when the police had an inkling that there would be violence, the Muslim community is accusing the police of one-sided action. Muslims have been named in the FIR, the arrested persons are also Muslims and those who had to flee are Muslims, some members of the community.

The entire village has police contingents. Mehak Ara and Aleem told NewsClick there is night patrolling and the cops keep hitting doors with sticks.

More than 50% of Muslim families have fled the village. Those who have stayed back either live alone or their children have been picked up by the police.

NewsClick spoke to three elderly women whose sons are in jail. Akhtari said she was also hit by a violent mob, adding that “these boys have played in my house." Her two sons have been arrested by the police.

Bano, who was sitting next to Akhtari, said her son was arrested by the police when he was coming of the mosque after offering prayers.

Hindu Homes Safe, Locks in Muslim Homes

Talking to NewClick, two elderly Hindu women said that Muslim home should be bulldozed. Standing behind these women were other women, girls, boys and children who were taking part in the discussion with great enthusiasm.

In contrast, Mehak Ara said: "Some girls were crying while leaving the village yesterday," adding that "I will never lie during fasting..."

Saini and his friend Sonu said they are waiting for the day Adityanath becomes the Prime Minister, as “that is when India will become Hindu Rashtra.”

Saini said the film ‘Kashmir Files’ has influenced a lot of Hindus. His friend Sonu added: “We have chased them (Muslims) out of the village, now we will chase them out of the country. We will take away their ration cards, remove them from the voter’s list and disenfranchise them”

The Muslim community, meanwhile, has written to the administration drawing its attention to attacks on their homes and thefts.

The Violence hasn’t ended…

One of the last houses in the lane of Dada Jalalpur belongs to Dilshad. Some people of the procession were on their way back to Dada Patti village after finishing their journey at the Shiva temple.

“It was around 3-4 o'clock in the night. My two brothers and their wives were in the house when the mob entered and cut the electricity. Our e-rickshaw, car and motorcycle were set on fire. My brother's wives hid in the closet," he said.

Meanwhile, the Bhim Army met the SSP Haridwar on Monday, and demanded speedy action in this matter.

(Edited by Aditi Nigam)

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