The alleged molestation of a 19-year-old newly married Hindu woman by Muslim youths has led to communal tension in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. As a result of the incident, which happened last week, Hindu families are now thinking of leaving Aligarh, say reports.
A report in The Indian Express said that the woman was molested when she was out with her husband on a bike in Babri Mandi in Aligarh.
"I thought I won’t be able to return home alive. They tried to get hold of my ‘pallu’ while I was on the bike (which her husband was riding). They held my neck and dragged me by hair towards a secluded lane. I shouted but no one came to help. When my husband intervened, he was attacked with a knife," the report quoted the woman as saying.
The incident led stone-pelting between the two groups which eventually grew so intense that a contingent of police had to be called in to control the violence, a report in The Times of India said. The report quoted a local resident who said that ten families were ready to sell their properties and every family in Babri Mandi eventually wanted to leave.
The report also said that notices for selling the property were also put up outside the homes of Muslim families in the area. The Muslim families said that a prominent local leader was fanning communal tensions. Mayor of Aligarh Shakuntala Bharti, according to Deccan Chronicle, said people of one community were "making it difficult" for these families to continue living in their houses in Babri Mandi area.
"Almost every other day, women belonging to Hindu families are being subjected to harassment and eve-teasing. The police refuse to act on the complaints and the accused persons are getting emboldened," the report quoted the Mayor as saying.
This comes close on the heels of reports of migration by Hindu families in Kairana in Shamli district last month. In June, BJP MP Hukum Singh had claimed that Hindu families in Kairana, again in Uttar Pradesh, were leaving the area due to threats and extortion by Muslim criminals. Singh had even released a list of 346 families who had allegedly been forced to flee the town, which has 85 percent Muslim population.
However, a probe conducted by the Shamli district administration into the alleged migration from Kairana had found that in the list of 346 families, who had apparently left the region, 188 had left over five years ago. It was also found that 60 families were living elsewhere for reasons relating to education, employment, health, or others.
In fact,a DNA report had said that another list, compiled by locals, had been handed over to the district magistrate and contained names of 45 Muslim residents who had also left Kairana. The report had further said that the compilers of the list had also claimed that another 145 Muslims had left Kairana in the last few years.
"Our aim is not to tell the administration that Muslim families have been forced to leave but to simply let the world know that migration of both communities has been taking place in Kairana for the last 10-15 years. There are number of reasons behind migration and crime is not the only one," the report had quoted one of the compilers of the list as saying.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also said that the Kairana incidents should not be given a communal colour. "Communal colour should not be given to the Kairana incidents. But at the same time there should not be a situation when people have to leave their native place," he had said.
(With inputs from PTI)