Moradabad: Fear looms as Muslims picked from houses during curfew

By Faisal Fareed,,

Lucknow: For administration and police life is limping back to normal and things are under control in the brass city Moradabad on Thursday. However a closer look reveals that Muslims are still living with fear palpable on their face and apprehension of any untoward incident.

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On Thursday, the curfew, which has been imposed since Tuesday midnight, was relaxed for two hours in all the six police circles. The district administration took preventive steps to relax the curfew in an alternate manner. Hundreds of people turned up on streets to arrange for food and other utilities in wake of roza. Women folks too also ventured out to make arrangements for their daily bread.

Elsewhere, no fresh violence has been reported on Thursday. However, unconfirmed reports stated that a police constable has been stabbed in Barbalan locality. However, the administration has denied any such incident.

In the official press briefing, divisional commissioner Moradabad claimed that situation is returning to normal and is under control. However, certain queries by newsmen left him speechless. The Commissioner Surendra Kumar Verma had no answer when asked as to why the police was selective in arresting people, why people were hounded out from their homes on Thursday and the number of people taken into custody.

Locals claimed that police roamed in the street during curfew period and picked up youths from the houses. The arresting as alleged was selective for minority community. Reports are also there that clusters of hutments in Karula locality were demolished by the police. Verma, however, stated that he has not yet received any complaint. “We are reinforcing curfew and no one is allowed to venture during that period,” he told local media. Over a query that nearly 4000 people belonging to six Hindu organisations had held a meeting on Tuesday which culminated in violence was also illegal as Section 144 was imposed in the city, he urged that let bygones be bygones and not vitiate the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, Shaher Imam, Maulana Masoom Raza Azad met police and administrative officials and urged them to release those persons who unknowingly ventured during curfew period. “Things took place in such a fast manner that they did not get time. They are not at fault and should be released,” he said. He also urged the officials to act in an impartial manner and work for restoration of normalcy. “I also appeal to the people to observe restraint and calm for bringing peace and tranquility in the city,” he told TCN.


On the other hand, Mayor Dr ST Hasan who has considerable clout in the city was kept under house arrest. He was not allowed to move out by the police on grounds that it may lead to flaring up of situation and further vitiate the atmosphere. The other senior Bahujan Samaj Party leader and MP Shafeequr Rehman Barq maintained a stoic silence over the issue and did not come on telephone.

Meanwhile, the command of the situation is now in the hands of IG MK Bansal. Muslims had praised the role of DIG NK Srivastava in the whole episode but IG level officer is now stationed at Moradabad.

On the other hand, Muslims remained apprehensive over the Friday prayers tomorrow while administration is yet to announce any relaxation during the namaz period.