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Sambhal riots

This Muslim dominated town in Moradabad distt. witnessed a communal violence right on the Eidul Adha day over a petty issue of repayment of loan and flow of the blood of sacrificial goats. According to the U.P. principal home secretary, one Gangadeen Sharma, resident of Begum Sarai area of the town, had lent Rs. 25000 to his neighbour Usman. He sent his son Shrikant Sharma for the recovery of the loan on the eve of Eid. Shrikant used some harsh words for repayment. This was resented by Usman who went to his father to protest that they have spoiled Usman's festive mood and insulted him in presence of his relatives and friends. An altercation followed which soon turned violent. In the meantime, Gangadeen allegedly brought out his gun and opened fire killing Khalid, the 12-year-old son of Usman and Fareed, his 20-year- old nephew, who were standing there. The incident took communal turn and members of both communities came out to help each other. In the brickbating that followed about a dozen persons, including SDM Sambhal and circle officers, were wounded.

According to another story the repayment issue had created tensions between the two families but did not take a violent turn. It was the ritual sacrifice of goats by Usman and his family and the flow of blood into the Nali adjacent to Sharma's house that sparked off the violence. Sharma objected to its flow whereas Usman insisted that this was not new and that he and his family have been sacrificing goats for the last many years at the same spot and the blood used to flow from the same Nali. Reportedly this sparked off tension and soon took a violent turn.

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