Sonkh, Mathura, May 9, 2015: Communal tension erupted in Sonkh town under Mogorra police station of the Mathura district as a group of people indulged in arson after a girl of the majority community allegedly eloped with a boy of the minority community, on last Saturday. Enraged people torched a religious place and people belonging to the minority group have fled the village fearing their lives. Curfew like situation prevailed in Sonkh town on Friday; six days after news of a Hindu Muslim runaway couple had the two communities at the loggerhead.
Reports said that markets in the area were partially closed as the rampaging group took out a procession and burnt some items taken out from worship place. They also burnt the articles in front of the house of the boy with whom the girl in her teens is said to have eloped.
On Thursday, some 25 Muslim families had fled the town, though police insisted a day later that they had all returned. A large number of police personnel along with one company of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) have been deployed in the area to attain peace. While incidents of violence were reported from various areas, a sub –inspector was injured in brick – batting and his vehicle damaged in Kosi last week.
“Situation is tense but absolutely under control and the hunt is on to nab anti – social elements involved in arson, said Rajesh Kumar District Magistrate, who had reached the area. Efforts are on to recover the girl, Kumar added.
Sources said that five miscreants involved in the violence were arrested by the police. However, it seems that the peace could only be guaranteed in case if the police could recover the girl. The government has transferred Manzil Saini, the Senior Superintendent of Police to save its face.
On Thursday a meeting of the Peace Committee was convened by the District Magistrate, in which it was communicated to both the parties that the action was being taken against the miscreants. The political leaders from all the leading parties participated in the peace meeting.
The representatives from the majority community complained that the police were harassing them. Demanding immediate return of the to her parents, BJP state chief Laxmi Kant Bajpai, wo was in Mathura to attend a farmers’ meet on Friday, said party workers will oppose “one sided police action in Sonkh”.
On Friday, security forces flag marched through the main market as police continued to remain on high alert following reports that some of the BJP leaders were planning a protest against the police for harassing the innocent and registering cases against members of only one community.
Meanwhile, circle officer (Sadar) Rajesh Kumar said there was still no trace of the missing couple. Deputy Inspector General (Agra), Laxmi Singh, who had served an ultimatum to the local police to find the girl within 24 hours, had shifted Sonkh station officer Vinod Kumar on Thursday. She said that three teams of police personnel have been formed and they were making frequent raid to trace the girl who is still missing.
The security of the mosques of the district was beefed up for the Friday Namaz. The Namaz was offered under heavy security.
On the other hand the Hindu Jagran Manch, led by its District President Pankaj Pandit protested in front of the DM office against the ‘Love Jehad’. The delegation met the District Magistrate and demanded to deal strictly with those who lure the hindu girls into marriage relationship and convert them to Islam either by force or by persuasion.