May, 27

Haryana Clashes: 50 panchayats in 3 Haryana districts issue letters barring entry of Muslim traders | Gurgaon News

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GURGAON/MAHENDERGARH: After clashes in Nuh on July 31 and communal tension in other parts of south Haryana, over 50 panchayats in three districts — Rewari, Mahendergarh and Jhajjar – have over the past few days released letters, all identically worded, barring the entry of Muslim traders.

‘Boycott Entry Of Muslims’: Over 50 Panchayats Across 3 Districts Of Haryana Pen Letters To Police

The letters, signed by sarpanches, also say Muslims living in the villages need to submit their identity documents to the police.Most of the villages barely have any residents from the minority community, with a few exceptions of families that have been living for three to four generations.
“We don’t intend to hurt anyone’s religious sentiments,” the letters read.

The sub-divisional magistrate of Narnaul (Mahendergarh) Manoj Kumar told TOI that he hadn’t received physical copies of the letters, but had seen them on social media and asked the block office to send show-cause notices to all the panchayats.
“It is against the law to issue such letters. Though we haven’t received any such letter from the panchayats. I got to know about these through media and social media,” he said. “The minority community doesn’t even make up 2% of the population in these villages. Everyone lives in harmony and such a notice will only disrupt that,” he added.

Asked why he had issued the letter, the sarpanch of Saidpur in Mahendergarh said the Nuh clash was the latest trigger, but the village had recorded several theft cases last July. “All unfortunate incidents started occurring only after outsiders started entering our villages. Right after the Nuh clash, we held a panchayat on August 1 and decided not to allow them inside our villages to maintain peace,” Vikas said. He added that he withdrew the letter after his legal adviser told him it was against the law to single out a community based on religion. “I don’t know how the letter started circulating on social media. We have withdrawn it,” he said.
According to Vikas, Saidpur was the first village to issue the letter and others followed. “Around 35 were issued from the Atali block in Mahendergarh, and the remaining from Jhajjar and Rewari,” he said.
A resident of another village neighbouring village, Tajpur, cited news of violence in Nuh and a prod from “bade log (strong men)” to issue the letter. “We don’t have any problem here. But there were calls and visits from bade log, which might have led to the episode,” he said.

With a total of 750 households, the village doesn’t have any families from the minority community. Locals also said they had no such worries.
“We have absolutely no interest in matters that do not concern us,” said Rohtas Singh, shuffling a deck of cards under a peepal tree in front of the village temple. He added: “We lead a simple and peaceful life. We know what is happening in Nuh, but we do not have any communal tension or safety concerns over here.” Asked the same question, village sarpanch Rajkumar – locally known as ‘Tiger’ – said he got a call from Vikas, who said “everyone has issued the letter and I should also do so”.
“It was a preventive measure and I didn’t see any harm… We had the template of the letter he had issued. We just copied that,” Rajkumar said.
In another neighbouring village, Kunjpura, where around 100 people from the minority community live, this correspondent saw residents playing cards at the town “adda”. “We live together. We heard about Nuh, but we are untouched. My family has been living here for four generations. This is my home,” said Majid, a trader.
A health department employee Shazeb said the village has around 80 voters from his community. “We have never had any differences. Religion doesn’t affect our friendships. We have grown up together,” he said, departing on a bike with his wife who was clad in a traditional Haryanvi dress – shirt, long skirt and a veil on her head.
Kunjpura sarpanch Narender, who did not issue such a letter, said some from the Mewat region come to their village for cattle rearing and other businesses. “Nevertheless, the scenario in Nuh has put a stop to these businesses… There were some from the region living here, but they left to go back to their families in Nuh,” he said.

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