Muzaffarnagar riots – 2013
…suddenly some village women lower their veil and run into the house…low pitched weeping sounds are breaking the silence at a regular interval in the interior villages…curious eyes are peeping and prying from the small opening of the veils…panicky eyes are here and there…Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Rapid Action Force (RAF) troopers marching the whole day through the almost deserted narrow lanes… – This is the scenario of the deadly still Muzaffarnagar after almost 20 days of the horrifying communal riot between Muslims and Hindus.
On 27th August, 2013 two Jat brothers of a girl kill a Muslim man for stalking their sister and later the stalker’s family kills both of them. This revenge killing sharpens the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar in Western Uttarpradesh. The two Jat brothers are beaten to death by a gang of agitated Muslims when they go to talk to the family of the stalker in Kawaal, an interior village in Muzaffarnagar. Following the high tension of these brutal murders, situation escalates into a major communal riot claiming about 45 lives and injuring many. Countless Muslims have fled away. Kawaal which was populated by Muslims and Hindus in equal numbers was now a Hindu-majority village. In fact Kawal is not only the village in Muzaffarnagar to have witnessed such communal violence and a resulting transformation in population. In all villages where the Hindus were predominant, the Muslims have left their homes. And the reverse has happened in Muslim majority villages.
After the slaughter of the Muslim man by the two Jat brothers, soon a Muslim mob lynches the two men. The cremation of the two community members has been rallied by thousands of Jats of the region. On their way back to home, the Jats armed with swords, country made pistols, enter the Kawaal village and loot Muslim houses, shops, destroys the property of mosque.
A Mahapanchayat organized by the Jats to defend the honor of “their women” evokes the Muslims to arrange their own panchayats to counter the violence and to organize themselves which later results into this communal riot and claims about 45 lives, displace about 40,000 people, mostly Muslims. The riot victims take shelters at relief camps in Muzaffarnagar and its outskirts. After about 20 days of this incident, an unknown panic has still been chasing the riot victims and delaying more with their futile attempts to come back to their normal life again.