Fear writ large in Muzaffarnagar

Fear writ large in Muzaffarnagar

Fear writ large in Muzaffarnagar

Fear was the emotion that was writ large in the bylanes of the riot-hit Muzaffarnagar with people not daring to step onto the streets even as normalcy is slowly returning.

Moreover, when someone was spotted out of their house, be it a Muslim or a Jat, they only spoke about suspicion and anger against the administration.

None of them believe that the toll is 38 as on Tuesday evening in the almost fortnight-long riots. Every person has his/her own figure and tales.

People from villages like Kakra, Dulhare, Goyla, Kutba and Kutbi know several who are still missing.

Sumit Bal from Krishnapur village, who suffered a bullet injury in his leg, said: “There are at least 100 people who are missing in my village. When the riots happened, some of them were pushed into a canal. One or two bodies were fished out. We do not know where the others are.”

Mohd Asif from Kakra said, “Many people have perished in the canals during riots.” Mohd Shanawaz of Dulhare village said that at least three girls from Kakra Kutbi village are missing.

The district administration and police said that they cannot jump into conclusions. During riots and other testing times, people move out to safety. “To declare them dead is not the right thing to do now,” a senior officer said.

Whatever the administration says, people from both the Muslim and Jat communities believe that the officials did not come to their rescue.

“We called the police but they did not come to our rescue and when they came, they were telling us that we are the culprits,” Shah Faizal of Sohran village said.

Pramod Bal of Krishnapur said they called for help but the police did not bother to come. “They kept saying everything is peaceful,” he added.

This mistrust is prompting people to stay indoors despite the Army conducting flag marches and ensuring that no untoward incident takes place.

The NH-58 which passes through Muzaffarnagar wears a deserted look. Shops and establishments along the highway remained closed.

The Army’s increased presence can be witnessed in Vahlana, six km from Muzaffarnagar.
 A driver, who frequents the NH-58, said he took less than three hours to cover 120 km from Delhi to Muzaffarnagar, when usually during peak hours it takes more than four hours.