By NVONews.Com Correspondent,
RAMPUR: Four people have been killed in communal violence that began in Rudrapur, Uttrakhand yesterday. The violence began when Muslims protested against sacrilege of Quran. Reports suggest that tens of Muslim shops have been torched by mobs trying to destroy Muslim business establishments in the city.
The deaths were caused by indiscriminate police firing on Muslims who were protesting the desecration of the Muslim’s holy book, the Quran. Locals say the violence was preplanned and that this was not the first instance of desecration of the Quran. It was second such instance in a few weeks and people came out to protest against the police inaction in this regard.
Mohammad Nasir, a resident of Rudrapur was reported by India’s leading Urdu newspaper Rashtriya Sahara as saying, “the situation here is very critical. Arsonists are torching Muslim shops and houses one by one. They seem to have details of Muslim business establishments and shops. The condition is deteriorating rapidly. No action has been taken on desecration of the Holy Quran and when Muslims protested, police fired on them. Last month there was another incident when Quran was put on fire after putting an animal’s meat on it. So far five Muslims have been killed and more than three hundred people are still stuck inside the Jama Masjid here.”
Another Rudrapur resident Zamir Khan was quoted by Sahara as saying, “the desecration of the holy book was well planned. Last morning Muslims took out a procession to protest against it under the leadership of Barelvi leader Maulana Zahid Raza Khan. Muslims who were provoked started pelting stone. The police fired indiscriminately against them. Rioters seem to be everywhere. They are attacking Muslim shops and houses in large numbers and police are nowhere visible.
Meanwhile curfew has been imposed on the city and police say condition is under control.
Industrial production is likely to be affected tomorrow as a majority of factory workers live in Rudrapur town which is under curfew, said Udhamsingh Nagar District Magistrate B V R Purushottam.
“The curfew has been clamped to deal with the situation in Rudrapur town where four to five shops and scores of vehicles have been torched,” said Purushotam said.
District administration has confirmed two deaths and the DM said they are trying to verify if there were any more deaths.