UP: Muslim hacked to death over platform used for Muharram

Lucknow: A 60-year-old Muslim was brutally hacked to death following a dispute over a concrete platform when he tried to stop people from demolishing it.

According to sources, the incident occurred in UP’s Sonbhadra district’s Parsoi village on the night of March 20 where the victim identified as Mohammed Anwar was attacked by Hindu villagers when he tried to stop the group from demolishing the platform where the community had kept tazias during Muharram.

An FIR was lodged at Obra police station against 14 accused including main accused Ravindra Kharwar a government school teacher and 11 other juveniles, Indian Express reports.

Victim’s brother Naeem Ghazipuri in his FIR stated the concrete platform was never a cause of dispute between the Muslims and the dominant Scheduled Tribes in the village, until Kharwar joined the government junior high school six months ago and, “began holding a Sangh shakha near the platform”.

“The village pradhan got the platform built in 2007 to keep tazias during Muharram and all people in the village used to participate in the procession. But after the teacher came to the village six months ago, he instigated some of the villagers and got it demolished once, but the administration brokered a compromise between the two communities and got it rebuilt,” he says.
The platform was again demolished for the second time and again the administration got it rebuilt.

“On the eve of Holi, some people arrived and started demolishing it again,” and when my father intervened they attacked him with axes and sticks before strangling him with his own scarf said victim’s son Mohammad Ainul.
Naeem also alleged that “while the plan for demolition was made by the teacher”, he did not come to the spot but instigated the people including the juveniles to demolish the structure.

The prime accused Kharwar is on the run while seven juveniles named in the FIR were arrested on Saturday along with a private school owner Rajesh Prajapati who runs his school adjacent to the government school.

Sonbhadra District Magistrate Ankit Kumar said a probe has been initiated against the teacher.

“Action will be taken on the basis of the report,” said Kumar, while adding that he was not aware of Kharwar running any shakha in the area near the platform.

“The disputed land belongs to the gram sabha and we had intervened some time ago, after which the two sides had reached a compromise,” the DM added.

The accused have now been booked under IPC Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 302 (murder).