Asansol violence: Muslims protect properties of Hindu neighbours

KOLKATA: Despite some recent untoward incidents, members of the Muslim community grouped up to protect houses and business units of local Hindus.

Fellow Muslim neighbors of Sinthla Dangal of West Bengal’s Asansol join hands to bring communal harmony and ensured that the few Hindu families who lived there were not harmed, reported DNA.

Muslim residents of Sinthla Dangal of Asansol shows that all is not lost. Some Muslims have grouped up to protect houses and business units of local Hindus who have fled after the violence.

Maulana Imdadul Rashidi, imam of Noorani Masjid at Sinthla Dangal, lost his 16-year-old son during the violence which began a day after Ram Navami celebration. When Imam’s younger son Sibtulla Rashidi was allegedly killed and his body was found on Wednesday night, locals were gearing up to retaliate, but Rashidi urged everyone to maintain peace.

“My faith teaches me peace and thus I urged everyone to maintain peace. My family has suffered a huge loss, but I don’t want people to turn it into an excuse to spread violence,” Rashidi said on Sunday.

Following his instructions, residents send out a message of unity in contrast with what happened in the area.

Wasim Raza, residents of the area said, “Imam saab has suffered a stupendous loss. Since he himself has been patient enough and had asked us not to take law in our hands, we decided to follow his footsteps. Members of a few Hindu families who used to live here had fled the place and we have ensured that their houses are safe. We have instructed everyone to refrain from trying to raze the place. Youths of the area have also made sure that the only temple of the locality is also not harmed so that no wrong message is given out to the society at large.”

“We don’t want revenge and counter revenge to continue. Hindus and Muslims have been living here peacefully for ages and it should remain like that. Violence never benefits poor people like us. My son has been injured and is hospitalised. My house has been razed but we want to forget everything and request administration to ensure peace,” she told DNA, standing in front of her damaged house at Ram Kishan Dangal.

Similar was the emotion of Ratan Mala Devi. The 66-year-old said she had gone through an ordeal on March 28. “People were on a rampage hurling bombs and stones at each other. We want to live in the harmony which had always been here so that people can move around without the fear of being attacked,” she said.