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UP a communal matchbox
By Obaid Nasir, Lucknow

The communal situation in U.P. is so fragile that even the slightest provocation may turn into a major issue. An ordinary fight between two persons belonging to different communities easily takes the communal turn. The Jaunpur incident in which one Hindu Block Pramukh was allegedly killed by a few Muslim youths and the retaliatory killing of three innocent Muslims who were unfortunately passing through the road is still fresh. In neighbouring Sultanpur district the story was repeated recently. 

On 19 December one Ram Yagya Yadav of Dakshin village under Baldirai police station was kidnapped by one Nizamuddin and his friends. He was pushed into a Maruti car that brought him to Soraon village under the same police station. According to eye witnesses Yadav was mercilessly beaten up by the kidnappers before being pushed into the car. In Soraon village he was dragged into a house and was again beaten, his cries for help fell on deaf ears and after some time there was a lull. People saw Nizamuddin and his friends loading a gunny bag in to a car which ran towards Faizabad. The news of Yadav's kidnapping spread like a wild fire and a mob gathered at Dakshin village. Some youths further provoked the people and the mob rushed towards Soraon village and put 30 houses belonging to the Muslim community on fire and forced the entire Muslim population to flee. Nothing was left in their houses. Even food grains and winter beddings were thrown in the burning fire.

The administration suspended a sub-inspector and two constables of Baldirai police station for dereliction of duty. A heavy contingent of police and PAC was deployed in the area. Commissioner, DIG, SSP, DM camped there to defuse the tension.

Later the beheaded body of Yadav was recovered from a village well and the head was recovered from another well in two villages under Khandasa police station in Faizabad district. Five persons have so far been arrested. The last rites of Yadav were performed in Faizabad to avoid further flare up of passions in the sensitive area of Dakshin and Soraon villages. The communal situation in UP is alarming. Any minor incident may take heavy toll of human lives and property. Patience, tolerance and dialogue are the need of the hour. One person's revenge may become the entire community's nightmare.

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