Muzaffarnagar has often been deemed as the communal cauldron of Uttar Pradesh particularly after the district witnessed the bloody riots in 2013, when more than 60 people were killed here.
Since then, the authorities have had to exercise extra caution to ensure that there was no repeat of what happened here five years ago. Realising that communal tension may flare up during the Hindu festival of Holi, the local police were determined to set an example of communal harmony in the region this year. One of the reasons for the police’s anxiety was the festival falling on Friday, when Muslims throng to mosques to offer special prayers in congregation.
The district police led by Minakshi Sharma, the local SHO in Muzaffarnagar, decided to visit a madrasa in the vicinity to share with them the joy of the festival. Sharma told Janta Ka Reporter, “We wanted to wipe out the blot of communalism our district has had to live with since 2013. This was a little step by us towards creating the Hindu-Muslim unity that our country has always been known for. We visited the madrasa with food and sweets and shared them with the children there. We spent almost three hours with the madrasa students and the experience was extraordinary.”
Sharma was accompanied by CO, City, Harish Bhadoria, and Shamli’s check-post in-charge, Vinay Sharma. The madrasa they visited was situated at Charthawal Road near Sunnydhaam temple.
A local Islamic teacher too was appreciative of the police’s extraordinary gesture. Mufti Khalid from the madrasa said that the step taken by the Muzaffarnagar Police was the first of its kind and will go a long way in bridging the gap between the two communities.
In Noida too, police had taken unprecedented measures to ensure that there were no incidents of violence during the Friday prayers. The cops in Noida reached out to the managements of several mosques, lcoated in sensitive areas, to request them to alter their prayers’ timings. One such mosque was in Sector 93, where the management readily agreed to postponing their prayers’ time for Friday as requested by the cops. Several vans of police personnel were seen patrolling as the Muslim devotees offered their special prayers.
The UP Police is being widely hailed for its sensitivity and how it handled the celebration of Holi on Friday.