Under the pump for the recent communal clashes in Nuh and Gurugram districts that left six dead, Haryana government also attracted flak from Punjab & Haryana HC for its subsequent bulldozer drive against “illegal structures’’ owned by the accused, writes Rajesh Moudgil
Normalcy is yet to return to the Nuh, Gurugram and adjoining districts of Haryana after the July 31 communal clashes in Muslim-dominated Nuh town shook the state and took lives of six persons including two Home Guards and a naib imam of a mosque and caused massive damage to public and private properties in the region.
The deceased have been identified as Home Guards – Neeraj and Gursev, naib imam Mohd Saad, and three youths – Abhishek, Shakti Kumar and Pradeep Sharma, according to media reports which add that about 300 suspects of rioting had already been arrested among whom two accused were nabbed after a brief encounter with police on August 10 last.
For the record, the communal clashes had erupted after a religious procession “Brij Mandal Jalabhishek Yatra’’ taken out by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal was reportedly attacked by mobs of “miscreants’’ who started pelting the procession with stones following which mobs indulged in arson and setting on fire a scores of private and police vehicles.
According to reports, the immediate trigger for the clash in the communally sensitive Nuh was after the cow vigilante Monu Manesar, one of the main accused in the recent infamous case of brutal killing of Nasir-Junaid in Bhiwani (Haryana), announced – in an online post – that he would be joining the said religious procession – much to the chagrin of the aggrieved groups.
Though Monu did not take part in the procession, another cow vigilante allegedly provoked – through social media – the rival group which had objected to Monu’s participation in the procession despite their repeated calls against it to Rajasthan and Haryana police.
Result? The communal clashes have already left a death toll of six, grievous injuries to dozens of people including police personnel and massive damage to public and private property. Curfew is still imposed in Nuh and prohibitory orders against assembly of four or more persons in the many parts of the National Capital Region (NCR) are in force since.
Backlash of Nuh violence
Since the communal violence spilled over to several areas of adjoining Gurugram district immediately after clashes in Nuh, mobs vandalised a religious place and scores of temporary shops and other structures in some parts of it.
While a mosque was set on fire in sector 57 in Gurugram by mobs carrying petrol bombs hours after July 31 clashes in which one of its employee, a naib imam, who was sleeping inside, was also reportedly shot dead, mobs of miscreants vandalised many shops mostly selling “briyani’’ in Badshahpur and other shops in Sector 66 of Gurugram. The mobs of over 200 motorcycle or cars-borne men who hurled petrol bottles, did it, reports said.
Not only this, a few days later in Panipat too, a group of over two dozen miscreants who had their faces covered with masks, vandalised several shops and stalls of street vendors belonging to members of minority community in Sector 25 and injured some people reportedly in retaliation of the killing of Abhishek, a youth hailing from the city in Nuh violence.
They vandalised a meat shop and a barber shop besides several other stalls of street vendors and injured some of their owners. Police held that they had detained more than a dozen suspects in the case.
Meanwhile, post communal violence in Nuh, followed a demolition drive by the state administration in Nuh as well as other parts of the adjoining areas.
In Nuh a three-storey hotel from where stones were said to have been pelted during communal clashes was bulldozed, besides several other “illegally’’ erected temporary shops and shanties reportedly belonging to those accused of rioting and arson.
Several residents in Nuh said that the shops demolished outside the Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Government College and Hospital had also been razed though these were legal and the owners of these structures had not been given any notices about it beforehand.
According to media reports over 1,000 temporary and other structures were razed in the area since July 31.
Nuh MLA rues panchayats’ ‘ban’
Meanwhile, in another development, the Nuh legislator Aftab Ahmed rued demanded strict action against some panchayats which had recently called for “banning’’ the entry Muslim traders into their villages.
Aftaf, who is deputy leader of the Congress in the state assembly, sought strict action against them and said that it was totally unconstitutional and that it would also further vitiate the social harmony in the state.
However, some of the sarpanches of these panchayats held that they had only talked about verifying the credentials of the outsiders and not called for any ban against anyone.
HC slams brakes on demolition drive
Meanwhile, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 7 stayed the “demolition drive’’ in Nuh, Gurugram and asked if it was as per law.
Taking a suo motu cognizance of the demolitions drive, the High Court bench of Justice G S Sandhawalia and Justice Harpreet Kaur Jeewan, halted the same observing that one of the issue arising was whether the state was conducting “ethnic cleansing’’ and asked the state to file an affidavit about the details of numbers of buildings bulldozed during the past two weeks and whether it had issued notices before the action.
The bench held that the issue also arises whether the buildings belonging to a particular community are being brought down under the guise of law and order problem and an exercise of “ethnic cleansing’’ is being conducted by the state.
The matter now would be placed before the chief justice on August 18, 2023.
Attack on cyber station a matter of concern
Meanwhile, expressing its concern over the miscreants’ attack on its cyber police station, the Haryana police has claimed the said attack in guise of communal clashes, aimed at destroying the substantial evidences of the cyber crimes and criminals,contained there following the massive raids in the district about three months ago.
A police spokesperson said that the miscreants had attempted the attack in a planned manner to destroy evidences contained there to avoid prosecutions.
Terming the raids as the biggest ever such action against cyber fraudsters in the country, the police said that the raids in Nuh district involving 5,000 personnel in Haryana, had also unearthed cyber frauds worth about Rs 100 crore. The spokesperson said as many as 320 hideouts of cyber criminals spread across 14 villages in Nuh district were raided and busted.