Communal clash in Bahraich: 6-year-old girl charred to death during Durga idol immersion

Bahraich: A six-year-old girl was charred to death and another person injured in a clash between members of the Hindu and Muslim communities during a Durga idol immersion procession.

According to The Indian Express reports, the girl, Soni, daughter of Ashfaq suffered burn injuries and succumbed on way to the hospital.

The incident happened when a Durga Puja procession was passing the mosque of Nabbe Khan Ka Purva village.

The processionists maximise the volume of the loudspeakers playing DJ outside the mosque. People came to Maghrib prayer objected after which the argument started. After a while the crowd became violent.

“There was a verbal argument between some Muslim youths and Hindu participants of the puja procession. Prima facie it has been found that the boys, who were at the mosque, asked the other group to leave quickly. This led to arguments between the two groups, which later led to stone pelting,” said DIG (Devipatan Range) Jitendra Pratap Singh, who rushed to the spot after the incident.

Enraged processionists threw stones at the mosque and set some 32 hutments afire. Ashfaq’s six-year-old daughter got trapped inside her house and could not come out, police said.

“She was speech impaired and could not call for help. Villagers rushed her to hospital on finding her charred, but she succumbed on the way.”

“Five persons have been taken into custody… Police teams are working to arrest around 20 other accused… An FIR under sections related to murder, arson and rioting has been registered,” Bahraich SP Salik Ram said.

Additional police force has been rushed to the area and senior officials are also camping in the village. The situation is under control now.

State Minister for Trade Tax and local MLA Yasir Shah said Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. Nine lakhs to the family of the deceased and help will also be extended to those who lost their belongings in the fire after proper evaluation.

With PTI inputs