Representational Image. Image Courtesy: Telegraph India
Patna: Shams Alam alias Kallu Mian, head of the lone Muslim family in a village in Bihar, is scared and worried after a group of powerful men belonging to Hindu community threatened him to leave the village “for safety”. He has alleged that they are eyeing his land and to be able to grab it, are trying to force him to flee the village.
Shams, a poverty-stricken resident of Kurhaita village under Datraul panchayat in Nawada district, said that last week, co-villagers Tinny Singh, Chunnu Singh, Rajeev Singh and others attacked his thatched house, demolished a portion of a brick wall and thatched roof and threatened him to leave the village.
“They abused us and questioned: ‘how can lone Muslim has been living in this village?’.” he told NewsClick.
They reportedly askd Shams whether his family wanted to showcase “courage” and “bravery” by being the only Muslim family. “They threatened to bury us alive and made it clear that they don't want to see us living here.”
He told NewsClick that his family has been living in the village for generations. “My great grandfather was a big landlord once and used to enjoy influence in the village and the neighbourhood. But we have become poor after our land and property were sold by my grandfather and later by my father. Now we have a small portion of land,” said Shams.
Rajeev, a local activist, alleged that the accused want to grab the three katha land of Imambara, currently under the control of the Shams’s family because it is the lone Muslim family. “His family has also built a thatched roof on a portion of the Imambara land, angering the accused who wanted to grab the land,” he said.
Shame has approached police and sought protection and action against the accused last week. But at the time of writing this report (on May 26), the police had not lodged an FIR in this connection.
Pakribarawan police station officer in-charge Sarfaraz Imam said Shams’s son Mukhtar visited the police station and submitted a written complaint regarding a land dispute. He informed the police that his family was threatened by the accused in a bid to grab the former’s ancestral land.
“A police team was sent thrice to the village to solve the land dispute issue and the accused were asked not to create trouble for Shams’s family any further,” the police officer said. He said that no case was lodged against the accused because Shams’s family had not demanded it.
According to Imam, the police have been doing everything to ensure justice to Shams’s family.
He denied any communal angle in this incident. “Prima facie, it appears that the accused were eying some land of the Shams’s family and for this, they had threatened them. But others in the village supported Shams's family and stood in their favour,” he told NewsClick.
A local villager, on the condition of anonymity, said that the accused, Rajeev and Tunnu, are known BJP workers in the village and are targeting Shams’s family because they belong to the Muslim community. “The district administration should take notice of this because the accused can do any harm to them by polarising people in the name of religion,” they said.
In the recent past, Nawada has witnessed communal tension and was regarded as a communally sensitive place in the state.