UP police try to prevent communal flare-up

A love affair between a couple from different communities is threatened to turn into a communal issue in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district.

Members of one of the communities announced to hold a mahapanchayat in the district on Friday, during which the matter would be discussed among elders of the community and a strategy would be planned.

The decision to hold the panchayat triggered alarm bells in the administration and officials were trying to hold discussions with members of the two communities to resolve the matter amicably.

According to reports, Sanjana (name changed), a resident of Saharanpur, had been pursuing higher studies at the nearby Roorkee town in Uttarakhand and was having an affair with Majid (name changed), who was also a student of the same college.

The couple, after a brief affair, eloped and married elsewhere. But the marriage triggered tension between the two communities as the family of the girl opposed to the relationship and demanded custody of the girl from police.

The girl’s family said Majid earlier told Sanjana that his name was Manjit. They said police were instigating the girl against them.

A panchayat of the Gurjar community to which the girl belongs was held on Sunday to discuss the matter.

Police officials said they would not allow any such panchayat that could threaten peace in the region.

“The organisers have not yet sought permission for the panchayat. There is no question of allowing any such meeting without permission,” an official in Saharanpur said.

The officials said they were holding discussions with members of the two communities to find an amicable solution to the matter.

Local BJP leaders have also threatened to take to the streets if police do not intervene and hand over the girl to her family members.

It may be recalled communal clashes had broken out in Muzaffarnagar, which was not far from Saharanpur, in September last year after a panchayat was called to discuss the killing of two Jat youths.

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