A video from a Chhattisgarh village is being widely circulated where villagers can be seen taking a pledge to boycott Muslims. The police said they have traced the person who organised it, but have not found the involvement of any political party or religious group
“We Hindus will not buy goods from any Muslim shopkeeper, will not sell or rent our land to any Muslim,” the residents of Kundikala village in Sarguja district, can be heard saying in the video.
“We Hindus pledge to buy from vendors coming to our villages only after ascertaining their religion. We also pledge to not work as labourers for them,” they are heard saying.
Officials said the video surfaced after a brawl between residents of two villages — Kundikala and Aara — on January 1.
On New Year’s Day, some boys of Aara village had come to Kundikala for a picnic and clashed with the local men.
Later in the evening, more than 10 people from Aara — led by Iliyaas, a member of the local government — came in motorcycles and an SUV, entered the house of a local, Birendra Yadav, and assaulted his family.
Everyone in the house, including Birendra Yadav’s minor niece, was injured.
The police came soon after and arrested the assailants. They were accused of rioting, obscene act, voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation and trespass. But soon after, they received bail from the court.
The villagers alleged that the minor girl was also assaulted by the attackers but they got bail as the police failed to apply the relevant sections.
After the accused got bail, hundreds of villagers held a demonstration outside the Lundra police station and raised slogans against the police.
Later the villagers later took the oath, pledging to sever all ties with Muslims.
Amit Kamble, the Superintendent of Police in Surguja, denied the involvement of any political party or religious group in the incident. He said they have received the video yesterday and have identified the person who made them take the oath. But so far they have not found him to be linked to any political party or right wing group.