Goat belonging to Hindu strays into farm belonging to Muslim, four injured in ensuing violence

In a bizarre incident coming to light from Esakhpur village in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, the village is locked in a communal dispute from the past 4 days, which started over the grazing of goats. Things have turned so serious that there have been communal fights involving sharp weapons and even guns.

The genesis of the incident took place on 25th June, when the 10-year-old kid of Shivkumar Rajbhar was out grazing their goat. Around that time the goat decided to go into the fields belonging to Ahmed. This angered Ahmed who then proceeded to slap Shivkumar’s son.

This soon took shape of altercation between the two groups, however things remained in control though tense. But on Wednesday night, when Shivkumar’s elder son named Ranjit (25) was out in the market buying meat for some guests, a few people from the other community attacked him. In the resultant fight Ranjit got badly injured.

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The police were informed, who then arrested Ahmed and three other people. On Thursday when they got out on bail, they decided to attack those who had filed a complaint against them. This resulted in both the communities coming face to face on Friday and violence ensured. This resulted in injuries to total 4 people.

Seeing the situation, the authorities decided to send in a police force from various nearby police stations. Even PAC jawans were deployed in the area to maintain peace. Meanwhile the police have registered a case against 4 people on the basis of a complaint by Saraswati Rao, the mother of Hriday Rajbhar who was shot in the right thigh during the communal violence. The police are still waiting for a complaint from the other community.

Such incidents of ‘goat related violence’ are unfortunately in no ways a new affair. These violent incidents have varied from being petty skirmishes to serious incidents of communal violence. Following are a few such incidents:

Fight between two groups:
  • Last month, the Purushottampur village in Shrawasti district of Uttar Pradesh witnessed heavy fighting in between two groups which resulted in injuries to three people including two women. Apparently two goats of Jhabbar Ali entered the farm of Gaffar Ali’s son and ate all the grains present there. This resulted in a violence between the two groups even though Gaffar and Jhabbar were brothers.
  • On 26th June, 6 people were injured in Meerut after a two month old goat theft incident involving Noor Bano and Abdul Javed again caused tension which resulted in stone pelting between the two groups.
  • In Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh two people named Umesh and Jhinak were badly beaten by a mob and then were handed over to the police after they attempted to steal goats from the locality.
Leads to communal incident:
  • Last month, Hindu-Muslim tensions were witnessed in Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh after the goat of Gangaram strayed into the fields of Nusrat Jahan after which it was brutally beaten. This resulted in both the groups getting locked into a fight where shots too were reportedly fired.
  • In March this year, in Azamgarh of Uttar Pradesh, communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims were witnessed when goat of a person named Arvind strayed into the house of a Muslim neighbour. Arvind’s wife was beaten up and had to be hospitalised, due to which Arvind decided to file a police case, leading to communal tensions.
Deaths due to goat related violence:
  • In April this year, a biker named Ram Navin Singh was lynched by a mob while his co-passenger was badly beaten in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, after he accidentally hit a goat on route to buy some diesel. After the people from the Ram’s village came to know of this killing, they ended up attacking the locality of the mob and vandalised many houses.
  • In March this year, a fight over goat grazing which broke out between the children of two brothers named Mohammed Gaffar and Mohammed Tohid resulted in the death of the former after they decided to have a go at each other during which Tohid decided to hit Gaffar on the head with a bamboo which caused his death.
  • In May this year, two families were involved in a bloody fight, triggered by goat grazing, which resulted in the death of a 65 years old elderly person.
  • In May last year, in Jalpaiguri region of West Bengal, alleged goat thieves were nabbed from their car by a mob who then proceeded to beat them, leading to death of one. The other 2 alleged thieves somehow ran away. The mob then also proceeded to burn their vehicle.
  • In 2015, a thief named Prahlad was caught and lynched by villagers in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh for stealing goats from the residence of Sunderlal.
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