Violence erupts in Shamli after assault of 5 Muslim scholars in train

SHAFAQNA – Kandhla town in Shamli district witnessed rowdy crowds on the streets on Saturday who resorted to violence to protest against the alleged assault of 5 Muslim scholars who were purportedly beaten up by miscreants in a train on Friday night. The crowds blocked road and rail transport and also roughed up policemen who tried to stop them. According to reports, almost 16 police personnel were injured in the melee. 

Sources said that tension started to simmer on Friday night, when reports came in of five Muslim religious scholars from Maharashtra, who were onboard a train bound for Saharanpur, being heckled by a few persons at Baraut railway station. They were also allegedly manhandled and beaten up. The victims, after reaching Kandhla, filed an FIR, post which their medical examination was conducted. A number of people subsequently gathered at Kandhla and demanded speedy arrest of the accused. 

On Saturday morning, the Samajwadi Party MLA from Kairana, Nahid Hasan along with other locals, blocked rail and road transport to protest against the incident. He told TOI that they were protesting peacefully but a few miscreants threw stones at the police. In retaliation, the police resorted to the use of lathis in addition to opening fire, he added. Soon, a number of protestors reportedly got aggressive and entered Kandhla police station where a number of police personnel were manhandled. The crowd even set a few vehicles parked in the station on fire. 

Police, however, maintains that only rubber bullets and lathis were used to disperse the crowd. IG Meerut zone, Alok Sharma, said, “Police never fires at the public with real bullets. It only uses plastic pellets but we found a few empty cartridges of 0.315 bore at the site which were fired from country made weapons. One person sustained bullet injury as well. FIRs are being filed by the police against miscreants who destroyed public property and indulged in arson.”

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