Haryana’s Ballabhgarh is once again in news for the wrong reason.
Little over a month after a communal violence in Ballabhgarh’s Atali village had seen torching of Muslims’ properties, houses and place of worship, a communal violence erupted in the village once again on Wednesday.
While police say they are not in a position to ascertain the trigger point for this communal flare-up, residents said that clash began on Wednesday morning when Muslims were performing their fajr (morning prayer) namaz.
There were reports of Hindus and Muslims pelting stones on three separate occasions. Quoting police, Indian Express reported that at least four people were injured in the violence.
“We were praying at the mosque when stones were thrown. At the same time, the Hindus in the adjacent temple were participating in a kirtan using loudspeakers and this sparked the violence,” a resident Nizam Ali told the newspaper.
While the Muslim community alleged they were attacked first during their morning prayers, the Hindu community in the village denied the charge. “It’s completely untrue. They attacked the women of the village, who were at the temple, with stones and two of them were injured,”Satish Chaudhury was reported as saying.
The locals say that there’s a strict pattern to the incidents of rioting. It always coincides with the prayers’ timings as alleged by another Atali resident Ehsan, who said that two separate incidents of stone-pelting took place when Muslims went to the mosque to pray in the afternoon and again in the evening. Ehsan alleged that on one occasion the local Hindus had desecrated the mosque.
Such is the fear and sense of insecurity that the locals are now being forced to break Ramadan fasts inside their houses fearing attacks from the other community.
In May, more than 2000-armed members of Jat community had attacked Muslims before torching their houses and the mosque. Hindus have objected to the construction of the mosque in the village arguing that a Muslim place of worship right next to a temple was unacceptable to them.
The police had told Jantakareporter.com that Muslims had been allowed by the court to construct the mosque.
Muslims, around 150 of them, had to flee the village and take refuge in Ballabhgarh city police station, where they continued to protest against the ‘atrocities’ committed against them. It was only after the assurances from the police and the ministers in the BJP government of Haryana that their safety will be ensured and the rioters punished that they agreed to return to their village.
But, the village has seen sporadic incidents of communal violence since their return.
See the complete video report here.