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Violence in Chilauli
By Obaid Nasir in Rae Barilli
|Even though the 8th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6 December passed off peacefully in UP, Hindu fanatics refused to lie low. They repeated their deeds though at a smaller level at Chilauli in Rae Bareli district. The village forms part of Congress president and leader of opposition Sonia Gandhi's parliamentary constituency, Amethi. Was it a coincidence or a well-thought out strategy is anybody’s guess.
On 7 December morning about 300-strong mob led by one Ram Kripal Pandey reached the village madrasa, forced the children to flee and started demolishing the newly constructed boundary wall and minarets of the masjid-cum-madrasa. Most of the menfolk at that time had gone to their fields or were attending to their petty businesses. On getting information from their children they rushed to Inhauna police outpost to lodge a report which the police refused to accept. They narrated the story to their Muslim brethren in Inhauna who first gathered at the police outpost and then rushed towards Chilauli village. In the way they ransacked a restaurant owned by one Jamuna Prasad Tewari and the oil and flour mill of Satyasaran. In Chilauli village they offered Zohar namaz in the ‘disputed’ mosque. Annoyed by the police inaction, they blocked the Lucknow-Sultanpur national highway.
At about 3 pm SDM and ASP Tiloi reached the spot and tried to disperse the mob but failed. Congress MLA Dr. Muhammad Muslim reached the spot and tried to control the situation . At about 5 pm district magistrate and superintendent of police, Rae Bareli, also reached Chilauli. Police chief opened fire in the air and his force resorted to lathi charge to disperse the angry mob. It was only after the assurance by these officers that the named culprit will be arrested, the mob dispersed, only to face brickbating from the roof top of a house which injured eight persons including a pesh-imam. Tension has gripped the entire area including Islamganj, Hazarigarh, Rastamau and Inhauna villages. A large contingent of police, including PAC, has been deployed.
It may be noted that one Khushi Muhammad had constructed this masjid-cum-madrasa in Chilauli village some 25 years ago on the Gram Samaj land. He faced no opposition from any quarter. After his death his son Dastageer took care of his father's legacy. He constructed the boundary wall and the minaret but since then much water has flown down the Gomti. Sangh Parivar, particularly its militant wing the VHP and Bajrang Dal, are hell bent upon creating social disharmony at every available opportunity. This is the village whose erstwhile taluqdar Ch. Azhar Husain still organizes Dussehra Mela at his own expense, a tradition set by his forefathers.