RANCHI: In an ugly show of poor law and order in the BJP-ruled Jharkhand, a police team was attacked and held captive in Koderma district on Saturday over arrest of four persons for assaulting some Muslim families the previous night. To secure the release of the policemen, the arrested persons were released.
On Friday evening, when Muslims were breaking their Ramazan fast in the Kolgarma village under the Koderma police station, a big mob attacked the Muslim settlement. The mob attacked several homes, barged into the mosque and assaulted several people there. They warned the Muslims to leave the village otherwise each one of them would be killed. Around 20 frightened Muslim families fled the village in the night itself and walked about eight kilometers to reach the Koderma district headquarters. There are 20 Muslim homes in the village of 250 homes and a section of the local Hindus have been opposing construction of a mosque since last year.
Around 4 PM on Saturday, four people who were already named as attackers in the complaint by Muslims reached the District Collector’s office where the Muslim villagers had been taking refuge since Friday night. They had gone there to submit a memorandum over the issue. They also threatened the Muslims sitting there. The police immediately arrested the four and a police team was sent to the Kolgarma village for patrolling. As soon as the police team reached the village, they were attacked and assaulted by the villagers. They were held hostage seeking release of the four arrested villagers.
A local lawyer told Caravan Daily: “At 4 PM police arrested 4 accused persons when they came to the District Collector’s office for giving a memorandum and threatened Muslims who are camping at the DC office. Thereafter at around 7PM police patrolling party went to the village where they were attacked and held hostage. One constable has been seriously injured and referred to RIMS hospital in Ranchi. The accused party demanded the release of 4 arrested accused persons and only after the release of the accused persons they released the police personnel.”
Only last month, in another village of the same Koderma district, a Muslim settlement was attacked by a mob over suspicion of consumption of beef at a wedding party. The father of the bridegroom was brutally assaulted and over two dozen homes of his Muslim neighbors were ransacked.
In the last couple of years, several incidents of communal violence have taken place in Jharkhand. More than one dozen Muslims have been lynched in the name of cow, beef or child lifting. In March this year, a fast-track court had awarded life sentence to 11 persons including a BJP leader in the Ramgarh lynching case. Meat trader Alimuuddin Ansari was lynched in the daylight in Ramgarh in June last year.