Tension has gripped a locality in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha region after as reported, a section of locals are attempting to rename the locality as Islam Nagar from its pre-Independence name of Gautam Nagar.
It has been alleged that some 20-25 shops in the region out of a total 50 have renamed their address to Islam Nagar Naugawaan Sadat. Besides this, some shops have even painted over the existing address of “Gautam Nagar” thereby signifying an intention to change the area name. Plus it has also been alleged that about 1,500 Dalits in the locality are living under the fear of forced religious conversions.
Amroha is considered a Muslim dominated region with the area comprising of 42% Muslims, and the total population being about 12 lakh. Out of the rest, about 21% are Dalits. The “Gautam Nagar” locality is mainly inhabited by blue-collar workers, with people making ends meet by doing odd jobs.
Such an effort to rename Gautam Nagar has been met with stiff resistance by people like Pitam (70), who recounted how he has been living in the locality since birth and all his identification papers like voter and Aadhaar cards contain the address “Gautam Nagar”. He thus lamented that he only has a choice to either leave the area or convert.
Efforts were also made to create a consensus with dissenting shopkeepers but only fuelled a sense of hostility with the latter. One resident named Murari even filed a complaint with the police in this regard.
As per a Jagran report, the police finally has taken action in this matter and have arrested 10-10 people from each community. Along with this, the police has warned of strict action against unauthorised change of address.
The report claims that this locality is bifurcated into Hindu and Muslim population, with the Hindus calling their area as Gautam Nagar and the Muslims calling it Islam Nagar. It seems that some Muslims were sold shops in the Hindu area after which they started to change the locality’s name, which resulted in communal tension. The police later took stock of the situation and blurred out the name “Islam Nagar” from the disputed shop boards.
The report also claims that the name of the locality is actually registered as Budh Bazar in government documents.
Such a dispute and an alleged threat to convert Dalits further dents the so-called “Dalit Muslim unity” narrative which has already started getting punctured in recent days.
We had reported how a Dalit youth was brutally beaten to death in UP’s Hathras by Muslim youths who had picked up a dispute with him. Besides this, it was recently reported that Dalit family living in Mewat Haryana, had alleged that it was brutally attacked by the village goons for refusing to convert to Islam.