PATNA: Members from the Hindu and Muslim community buried the hatchet and hugged each other in Bihar after a long spell of rivalry in a lovely gesture, giving much-needed relief to the local authorities.
The emotional reunion took place on Wednesday when the Hindu and Muslim villagers from two villages — Malik Sarai and Moghalpura — in Kaimur district, some 200 south-west of Patna, came together and decided to forget the troubled past. While the Hindus wore skull caps on their heads, Muslims wrapped their heads with saffron turbans as a show of bon homie. Quite many villagers couldn’t control themselves and were seen sobbing inconsolably at the rare reunion never seen in near past.
Malik Sarai is dominated by Hindus (upper caste Rajputs) while Moghalpura is dominated by Muslims. Both villages were located side by side but they always remained indulged in bitter rivalry which was also a matter of concern for the local administration as communal tensions always erupted there.
It was, however, a different scene on display on Wednesday when Muslim villagers reached Hindu-dominated village to be welcomed by open armed hugs and showers of rose petals. Villagers from all age groups and sex joined the march.
The climax in the story came when the Muslim villagers were offered sherbet (sweet drinks), sweets and folded betel leaves which they happily accepted. “Nothing more could be a matter of joy than this reunion. Everyone wants to leave with peace. We are very happy today,” one of the villagers Mohammad Shahnawaz said, chewing betel leaves.
Reports said the rivals communities from the neighbouring villages were indulged in bitter rivalries for long and suspected each other. The tension touched a new high last year some Hindu youths were assaulted by Muslims during Ram Navami procession, triggering a chain of attacks and counter attacks. The local police registered at least five cases of murderous attacks and rioting, leading to deployment of security forces in both the villages to calm down tension.
It was here that a local police official decided to settle the issue permanently. Reports said the local sub-divisional magistrate Kumari Anupam Singh launched the initiative to bring the two communities together and then later held a peace marches and cricket matches between the two villages as the idea clicked.
Of late, communal tensions have become a matter of serious concerns in the state. According to a data compiled by the state police, a total of 5,630 incidents of rioting have taken place in the past six months of the current year. Last year, 11,698 such cases were reported while in 2016, the number of such incidents reported stood at 11,617. In 2015, 13,311 incidents had been reported, as per the police report.