The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

June 3, 2012

Communal riot in Mathura's Kosi Kalan: Death toll goes up to four, role of police under scanner for delay in taking action

Delayed action by police exacerbated the situation
The death toll in the communal clashes that rocked Kosi Kalan town in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh has gone up to four, even as violence has been under control now.

The riot that began over a trivial issue turned into communal conflagration which resulted in loss of lives, large scale destruction of property and damages estimated to the tune of Rs 50 crore (500 million).

The delay in action by police is said to be the reason for the clash spiralling into a riot of such magnitude. Sources said that a Jat commmunity trader who had attended nature's call, put his hands into the water kept by Muslims for ablutions before prayers.

This led to an argument which ended soon after. But later the youth's supporters returned and clashed with local residents. Tension mounted and soon there were incidents of looting and arson. People from Jat-dominated villages allegedly joined. Entire markets were set ablaze.

The role of a local BSP politician who had encroached on land, is also under suspicion, for triggering the riot. Till Saturday police had not arrested the culrpits. Many people meanwhile remained missing, leading to fear about their safety.

There was a view that it was more a clash between two groups over social tensions that stemmed from political differences. But mishandling of the situation turned it into a riot. Locals said that had police and administration taken action earlier, the riot would have been controlled.

The police in the state has in the past faced allegations of bias against minorities during Hindu-Muslim riots. Among the four dead, a youth Islamuddin was killed with bullet injury. The riot could be a cause of worry for the newly installed SP government in UP.

Muslims rued that police remained mute spectators to the incidents of mo indulging in rioting, burning shops and attacking homes. Chief Minister Akhilesh Singh Yadav has been attacked by opposition over law-and-order issue and the riot has come as a challenge for Samajwadi Party-led government. Kosi Kalan is a city in Mathura, on the border of Rajasthan and Haryana.

TIH Bureau

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