Two instances of violent attacks on Hindus celebrating the festival of Nag Panchmi have occurred in Uttar Pradesh. In Gurbaksh Ganj, Raebareli district, Muslim youth reportedly beat up kins of Hindu girls who protested the former sexually harassing the girls.
On the same day, a Baghrai wrestling fest organised on the occasion of Nag Panchmi broke down in a free-for-all when some Muslim youth attacked the organisers. After the initial scuffle, a Muslim posse of around 50 ambushed Dalits of the Maharajganj village with firearms & swords and severely injured nine persons.
As reported in Amar Ujala, in Raebareli, Hindu girls were celebrating Nag Panchmi by enacting a local custom called ‘Gudiya Peetna‘ (beating the doll) when Muslim youth started clicking their pictures and recording videos. When the girls and their families noticed this, they tried to stop the miscreants but were attacked. Soon, both sides started pelting stones at each other.
Incidentally, Raebareli is a Nehru-Gandhi family pocket-borough and Congress President Sonia Gandhi is the 5-time MP from the area.
In a video tweet, Raebareli police spokesperson narrated that after police broke up the scuffle, some unknown miscreants started pelting stones at the police team which resulted in injuries to four policemen. It was only after reinforcement from other police station arrived that the situation was brought under control. Police has booked Harun, Salman, Asmat, Niyaz and others from one side and also Arjun, Manoj, Bodhan from the other side. Surprisingly, police has once again sought to file cross FIR even when there is a clear case of sexual harassment and physical attack from one side which triggered the entire incident.
In the second incident, a group of Muslims attacked and grievously injured nine Dalit villagers in Baghrai police station area of Pratapgarh district. The trouble started when during a dangal (wrestling fest), Asghar Ali, Ashiq Ali attacked the organisers over some dispute. Though the matter was supposedly sorted out at the venue itself but the accused were holding a grudge.
With proper planning, they went from their village Ahladganj to Maheshganj and assaulted Pintu Saroj who was walking near his village. On hearing his cries, the villagers rushed to rescue him but they too were attacked with swords, sticks and other weapons. Of the total 9 injured, 4 are said to be in serious condition and they have been referred to SRN Prayagraj hospital.
The people of Dalit community protested against the atrocity by sitting on Dharna outside Baghrai police station. Narrating the ordeal to press, one Dalit woman whose husband is grievously injured, said “The attackers were approximately 50 in number and they came all the way from their village which is 3-4km away from place of incident. They were armed with firearms and sharp weapons. They attacked and injured 8 villagers with planning.” She also said that they want justice for Hindus and will not go from the venue till all the guilty are arrested.
As the communal tension peaked in area due to attack, the police booked 17 named and 50 unnamed accused, of which only six have been arrested. Some of these accused are reportedly in ‘top ten list’ of police records. Pratapgarh has been repeatedly seeing such communal attacks of late. First there was the dastardly murder of 8-year-old Laali Pandey followed by lynching of 62-year-old Santola Devi.
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