Published By: Kavya Mishra
Last Updated: June 07, 2023, 16:36 IST
Security was stepped up in Purola on Wednesday as communal tension prevailed in the town, days after an alleged attempt to abduct a minor girl.
The alleged bid to abduct the Hindu girl on May 26 by two men, including a Muslim, was foiled by locals following which, threatening posters appeared on the shutters of shops owned by members of the minority community in Purola asking them to leave the town immediately.
A platoon of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) was deployed in the town as a preventive measure to prevent the situation from getting worse, Uttarkashi Superintendent of Police Arpan Yaduvanshi said.
Nearly two weeks after the incident, tension has not yet subsided in the town with around 40 shops owned by Muslims in the market remaining shut.
The posters, pasted on Sunday evening, asked the shop owners to leave Purola ahead of a ‘mahapanchayat’ to be held by the Devbhoomi Raksha Abhiyan on June 15 or prepare to face consequences. Police have removed the posters and are trying to identify people who pasted them to foment trouble, an official said.
Demonstrations have been held in different towns of both the Ganga and Yamuna valleys of Uttarkashi district including Purola, Barkot and Chinyalisaur against the incident termed by the protesters as an instance of “love jihad”. Led by hardline Hindu outfits like the Vishva Hindu Parishad and Hindu Jagriti Manch, local trade bodies actively participated in the protests.
They alleged that Muslim hawkers and vendors, who have come from outside, were responsible for the abduction bid and similar incidents in the past. Though the girl has been rescued and the accused have been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and sent to jail, the action has failed to pacify the protesters who have been demonstrating in the towns almost regularly.
Uttarkashi Zilla Panchayat president Dipak Bijalwan has even appealed to homeowners in Purola not to let out their properties to outsiders. Expressing solidarity with the local trade bodies, he also said the Zilla Panchayat will not permit hawkers and vendors from outside the state to do business in the town.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)