The police are on the lookout for 50 alleged arsonists who have been charged with attacking the Muslim residents of Atali village in Ballabhgarh 10 days ago.The local police and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) are simultaneously conducting two separate probes to nab the accused booked in 17 separate FIRs (First Information Report) registered at Chhainsa police station. The police registered these FIRs after a violent mob of nearly 2,000 allegedly attacked Muslim villagers with bricks, swords, spears and petrol bombs on the evening of May 25.At least five people were injured and about 20 houses gutted after a clash erupted over the construction of a mosque in the village.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Ballabhgarh) Bhupinder Singh told the IANS that the SIT of 20 expert officers was constituted just two-three days after the Atali rioting.Singh told IANS that the 50 attackers have been identified but their names cannot be revealed as it will help them keep out of the police's reach.
Singh said: "Considering the gravity of the case, we have constituted the SIT which I am supervising. We have also involved expert officers from Crime Branch."Other than investigating the violence, Singh said, the police are trying to calm the situation in the village and secure it for the Muslims residents."We have managed to build the wall of the mosque which was the bone of contention. The damaged gas pipelines have also been repaired so that the minority community can live at their homes and cook food," Singh told IANS.
Singh has also arranged community meetings between Muslims and Jats on two occasions to ensure peace and harmony.Over 400 men, women and children who had taken refuge inside Ballabhgarh police station were sent back to the village on June 3 with an assurance of safety.However, only 150 of the 400 Muslim villagers, who had taken shelter at the police station, returned on June 3.Sixty-year-old Hasina, whose house was torched, said that the people of her community fear the 50 accused from the Jat community who had attacked them."We can't breathe a sigh of relief unless the attackers are arrested," Hasina told IANS.