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UP: Muslim mob turns violent after claiming print on doormat resembles ‘Kaaba’, does stone pelting and sloganeering in Balrampur shopping mart

Police have filed a FIR against 50-60 unnamed assailants under sections 143, 504, 506, 188, 341, 336, and 427 of the IPC, as well as section 7 of the Criminal Law Act of 1932. The miscreants in the mob are being identified using CCTV footage and other information.

On Friday (12th April), a mob attacked a shopping mart in the Balrampur district of Uttar Pradesh, claiming that an image of the Kaaba in Mecca was on the doormat. This incident escalated tensions within the community. The police, however, said that it was a wall hanging and not a doormat. Subsequently, the mob raised incendiary slogans and pelted stones. However, a major untoward incident was averted due to the police’s proactive presence in the Muslim-dominated Utraula market. Now the police are conducting raids by registering FIR against 50-60 unidentified attackers and examining CCTV footage to identify the perpetrators.

This incident transpired in the Balrampur district’s Utraula police station precinct where the angry mob attacked a shopping mart named V-Bazaar. Akhilesh Jaiswal is the name of the mart’s manager. A mob comprising Muslim youths arrived at the said shopping centre on the 12th of April. They claimed that doormats sold at V-Bazaar featured the image of the Kaaba. In a viral video, the young man is pressuring the manager to bring a doormat. They do, however, receive the response that the doormat will not be sold. In another video, the angry Muslims can be heard saying things like “taking pictures and sending them to a group of journalists.”

Police warn people not to take the law into their own hands

The information obtained by OpIndia suggests that initially, some people arrived at V Bazaar outraged over alleged doormats with Kaaba print. The outraged people and V Bazaar’s manager got into an argument. When the manager realised what was happening, he called the Utraula police station.

Sub Inspector Kislay Mishra arrived at V-Bazaar right away with a few constables. He calmed the irate mob despite being outnumbered and continued to defend the dozens of employees inside the shopping centre. Inspector Utraula Sanjay Dubey arrived there with extra force in the interim. He urged the mob to file a written complaint about their concern and cautioned them against taking the law into their own hands.

SI Kislay Mishra and Inspector Sanjay Dubey’s appeal had a positive effect, and some people came forward to file written complaints. They filed a complaint against the V Mart managing director and a few other staff members. The police filed a formal complaint (FIR) on the complaint of causing hurt to religious sentiments and urged the people to maintain peace. During this time, the administration was alert and handled the situation effectively.

Muslim mob turned violent after a complaint was registered

Even though a complaint was filed at Utraula police station, a mob was hell-bent on resorting to violence, and the police’s appeal had little effect on them. They started gathering in front of V-Bazaar, screaming inflammatory slogans including ‘Allah Hu Akbar’ and ‘Labbaik-Labbaik’ while trying to block the road. The already attentive police force gathered promptly at the scene. Even though they were fewer in number, the police nonetheless assumed command and made an attempt to persuade by using measures like Section 144 execution. However, the police’s vocal admonitions had no influence on the mob.

Police dispersed the irate mob

The angry mob reportedly hurled stones at the V Bazaar store. During the stone pelting, a portion of V-Bazar’s display board was shattered. Some nearby shopowners began lowering their shutters. People closed the windows and doors to their homes for safety. Eventually, the cops chased away the mob determined to violence. As the police officials took strict action, the miscreants fled the spot and the situation reverted to normal.

Police have filed a FIR against 50-60 unnamed assailants under sections 143, 504, 506, 188, 341, 336, and 427 of the IPC, as well as section 7 of the Criminal Law Act of 1932. The miscreants in the mob are being identified using CCTV footage and other information. The day following the incident, markets reopened and people went shopping. In addition to police officers, paramilitary and PAC personnel have been deployed in the area. The market is constantly patrolled by the officials. Currently, the situation in Utraula is normal.

Mob gathered near Gausia Masjid

When OpIndia inspected the matter on the ground, we found that the rowdy elements had congregated near the Gausia Masjid. Gausia Masjid is located in the centre of Utraula Market near V-Bazaar. Even as the police attempted to control the violence, the majority of the perpetrators fled in that direction. When the aggressive mob moved ahead, numerous women employees and customers were present at V-Bazaar. However, owing to the administration’s proactive approach, they were all safe.

“We are grateful to the Police, they protected us”

Speaking to OpIndia, Aman Modanwal, an eyewitness to the violence who runs a sweet shop named Shubham Mishthan Bhandar near the scene said that at the time of the incident, he had closed his shop as a precaution due to the large crowd. Aman has reopened his shop. Aman informed us, “The police performed an excellent job. Who knows what would have occurred if she had been more active?”

Balrampur Police warns of strict action against rumour-mongers

While Balrampur police chased the miscreants away without causing any adverse effects, they also maintained a strict presence on social media to combat rumour-mongering about the incident. Police warned many such rumour mongers on social media and told them to delete the false and misleading claims. OpIndia has numerous screenshots of rumour-mongers who have admitted their mistakes, deleted their posts, and assured that they will not indulge in rumour-mongering.

V-Bazaar runs in a Muslim’s house, outrage over 2 years old stock

OpIndia’s ground investigation also revealed that the house where V-Bazaar is operating is owned by a Muslim. The stock on which the mob resorted to aggression is claimed to be from 2022. V-Bazaar is also looking into how the 2-year-old stock suddenly showed up in the store. In addition, it is being investigated how the mob assembled and the images and videos went viral in such a short time.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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राहुल पाण्डेय
राहुल पाण्डेयhttp://www.opindia.com
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