Oct 4, 2009

Chandigarh riots: 1 Hindu youth killed by Muslims

The murder of an 18-year-old youth in Indira Colony on Monday night triggered off major violence after angry friends and relatives of the victim retaliated in the colony on Tuesday morning, with vehicles being set on fire and windows and doors of houses and shops smashed.

They also attacked the Muhammad (the culprit), who is now in hospital. A curfew-like situation prevailed in the colony till late in the evening, with heavy police force deployed in the area.

The police said both the communities are at peace with each other and the situation was under control.

Around 12.30 am Monday night, Tej Bahadur (18) alias Kallu, who used to supply milk, was outside his shop in the Indira Colony m
arket with his friend Ajay Sharma when Muhammad alias Babloo, along with his friends, came and asked for a lighter. After Tej Bahadur politely said that he do not have one, Muhammad took out a sharp-edged weapon and stabbed Tej Bahadur in his stomach several times.

A profusely bleeding
Tej Bahadur was taken to the health centre in Manimajra from where he was referred to the PGI, where he died later in the night.

Tej Bahadur’s friends caught Muhammad and bashed him up, the other accused managed to flee. Muhammad is presently admitted in the Sector 16 hospital where his condition is said to be stable. He has been booked for murder under Section 302 of the IPC.

As news of the murder spread in the morning, around 25 infuriated youths went on rampage. With clubs and swords, the mob targeted whatever came its way.

Cowardly Muslims locked themselves inside their houses even as the crowd fury resulted in broken window panes and damage to five cars parked in the colony. Two motorbikes were also set on fire.

The crowd then proceeded towards the 20-year-old Sabri Masjid in the colony and pelted bricks at its building, damaged three air coolers, tried to break open the grill and ransacked the place.

“When I saw the crowd, I locked the doors of my house. They completely damaged my Santro,” said Haji Iqbal.

Soon after, the police cordoned off the entire area and controlled the mob. Additional force from the Punjab Police was also called. The accused, Muhammad, has previously been involved in other crimes also. We have talked to members of both the communities and there is no rivalry between them. A meeting was held between the members of both the communities and they have been asked to not to take law in their hands,” said UT SSP SS Srivastava.

Tej Bahadur’s mother Kalavati weeping uncontrollably, members of the victim’s community and his relatives assembled in large number at the cremation ground in Manimajra later in the day and shouted slogans. A heavy posse of the police went along with the agitated people to the Indira Colony and remained stationed in the colony to tackle any untoward incident.

The youngest among his siblings,
Tej Bahadur is survived by his parents, three brothers and one sister.

The residents claimed it was the fourth murder
of Hindus by the Muslims in communal clashes in the last two decades. The police, however says that old enmity between the groups was the reason for the murder, in an whitewash the truth and to control the anger among people.

Meanwhile, even as most shops of Indira Colony remained shut, the area seemed to be slowly getting normal. But with an uneasy calm settling around the house of Tej Bahadur, who was murdered on Monday night by Muslims, police continued to be deployed in heavy numbers.