UP: Communal tension erupts in Sambhal village, leads to minority exodus

Tension gripped this village in Sambhal district of Uttar Pradesh on the night of May 10 after the interfaith couple eloped.

Following violence after a man eloped with a married woman from another faith, there has been an exodus of several families belonging to the minority community from Nandrauli village in Uttar Pradesh. Tension gripped this village in Sambhal district on the night of May 10 after the interfaith couple eloped.

The matter soon acquired communal overtones as several houses of people from the minority community were vandalised which triggered an exodus of 10-15 families who fled in fear. Police admit that the families have fled but are reluctant to call it an exodus.

“People have not left permanently. They have gone to their relatives’ places nearby as they were afraid. They will return once the situation normalises,” SP Ravi Singh said.

Following the incident, UP Minorities Affairs Minister Baldev Singh Aulakh has sought a detailed report from Sambhal district administration about the reported exodus of Muslim families. Meanwhile, six-term SP MLA from Sambhal constituency, Iqbal Mehmood, said that the issue would be raised in the state Assembly.

Village resident Sageer Ahmed said the violence by members of one faith led to the minority families locking up their houses and leaving. He alleged that the violence occurred despite the presence of policemen at the scene, which has led to a feeling of fear and insecurity that triggered the exodus.

Another resident Shanu Miyan also expressed similar sentiments. Meanwhile, four policemen have been suspended for not acting to stop the violence on May 10.

Last year a huge controversy erupted after a BJP MP had claimed that there had been an “exodus” of Hindu families from Kairana, in the restive western UP town due to fear of members of a particular community in the area.

(With PTI inputs)