Nuh Communal Clashes: Muslim Youths Flee to Jungles Fearing Random Police Arrest

Four-storeyed Sahara hotel constructed legally bulldozed by administration druing the recent communal clashes in Nuh, Haryana. India Tomorrow photo by Syed Ahmad Ali.

There is so much fear of arrest among Muslim residents of Nuh that all the youths above 12 years of age have fled the town and taken shelter in nearby jungles and villages. A woman is reported to have delivered a premature baby out of the fear of police raid at her house around midnight. A young boy who hid himself in his farm in nearby Malav village was bitten by snake and died immediately.

Syed Khalique Ahmed

NUH (HARYANA)—Muslim residents of Nuh, a prominent town in the backward Mewat region of South Haryana are living in awe and terror for the last two weeks after the violence between local Muslims and members of “Braj Mandal Yatra” organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its youth wing Bajrang Dal on July 31. Yatris were mostly outsiders and had come from all over the state.

If one visits the town, one will hardly find a single Muslim youth in the town. The only people left in this Muslim-dominated town are women, old people and children below 12 or 10 years of age.

The Muslim residents are so terrified that they are not willing to reveal their identity while talking to mediapersons about the police action.

The residents say that the youths have fled the town and taken shelter in nearby jungles in the foothills of Aravalli ranges and with their relatives in villages in Haryana and neighbouring Rajasthan.

Many locals alleged that police entered their houses all of a sudden and looked for male members. When they did not find any male member, they would ask for the number of family members, number of children in the family and their age.  A pregnant woman delivered a premature baby due to the fear of police raid at her house in the middle of night.

A Muslim government official, on conditions of anonymity, said that a Muslim youth who had hidden himself in a farm in Malav village was bitten by a snake and he died instantly. This indicates the level of fear among the Muslim population owing to random arrest by the police.

The police had registered as many as 57 FIRs till the writing of this news story, including 11 against people who shared news and videos about the communal clashes on social media. The police had arrested 188 people, almost all of them Muslims, by August 9 when the India Tomorrow team visited the town and nearby areas. Many Muslims said that many policemen randomly checked their mobile phones and deleted videos pertaining to the violence.

However, some videos of the violence went viral before internet ban. Internet ban is still on in entire Nuh district.

Why no arrest of Braj Mandal yatris?

The police had not arrested any of the participants in the yatra or its organisers till the writing of this news. This puts a question mark on the impartiality of the police and prosecution agencies.

As Nuh Superintendnet of Police Narendra Birjani could not be contacted despite several efforts, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Nuh police Krishna Kumar, when questioned about the police not arresting the yatris who were armed and shouted provocative slogans against Muslims, said: “Police are trying to identify who exactly from among the yatris were involved in the violence so that they can be arrested.”

However, he was non-plussed when questioned about why the same yardstick was not applied in connection with arrest of Muslim youths. On repeated questioning, he said, “I understand what you want to say. But I can assure you that police officials are not biased.  Mr Narendra Birjania is a highly honest and upright official.”

But he avoided replying to the basic question why the Muslim boys were being arrested randomly without establishing their complicity in the violence. The silence of the police to this and many such questions suggests that police and investigative agencies need to be more transparent to make Muslims feel that police are not taking one-sided action.

Police must find out who were the yatris, from where they all came, what is their background and if they had any criminal antecedents and why were they carrying arms in a religious yatra? And why did the police allow weapons in a religious programme?

Why no action against yatra organisers?

It is highly disappointing that the police on security duty along with the yatra did not do anything to prevent the yatris from carrying weapons and raising anti-Muslim slogans. And why did the organisers of the yatra allow the participants to carry weapons and raise slogans against another religion? Was it not the responsibility of the organisers to ensure that yatra participants did not raise slogans insulting to other communities? Why the police and investigative agencies are silent on these questions? Why have the police not arrested the yatra organisers who permitted the participants to carry weapons and shout anti-Muslim slogans? If some criminals with weapons had infiltrated the yatra, why did the organisers not inform the police about them? Why is the state not bulldozing the houses of the yatris involved in the Nuh communal violence? Why this soft corner towards organisers of the yatra and its participants whose irresponsible action resulted in violence in Nuh which never witnessed communal clashes after 1992? And the violence did not remain confined to Nuh only. It spread to nearby towns like Sohna, Taoru, and even Gurugram(formerly Gurgaon), a hub of multinational corporations, including Google.

Muslims offered food and water to yatris

The yatra had started from Nalhar temple in the foothills of Aravalli ranges, about four kilometres from the Nuh town. The temple is the main centre for organizing the yatra that began just four years ago. There are no Hindu houses on the route from the temple to the Nuh town. As it was very hot on July 31 when the yatra was taken, yatris took a brief rest in Muslim shops outside Nalhar medical college. Muslims offered them water pouches and water bottles free of charge. Hafiz Khalid, imam of the mosque in front of the medical college said a Muslim family even offered food to some of the yatris.  Zubair Khan of Pakeeza Medical Store(now demolished) said the yatris took a brief rest in Muslim shops before proceeding towards the Nuh town. He said all of them were armed with sharp-edged weapons.

Clashes took place at Jhanda Chowk

Locals say that clashes took place when the yatris reached Jhanda Chowk, town’s main centre and shouted anti-Muslim slogans. As the entire Braj Yatra route from Nuh onward has Muslim villages on either side of the state highway, the yatris drove back and took shelter in the temple. While Muslim youths pelted stones and chased them upto the temple, none from among the yatris sustained grievous injuries. Nalhar Temple has been now fortified with round the clock guard by ITBP jawans. ITBP jawans did not allow the India Tomorrow team who wanted to meet the temple priest and its administrators to know about why the yatra participants were allowed to carry weapons in the religious yatra? Why were the yatris allowed to assemble and stay in the temple with weapons? Why did they not inform the police if they knew about the yatris carrying weapons with them? It is really a tribute to the people of the area that temple never witnessed any violence from the local Muslims, not even in 1992, when Nuh was rocked with communal clashes following the Babri Masjid demolition.

Bulldozing Muslim houses, business places

Before the authorities could identify those behind the violence, they bulldozed more than one thousand Muslim properties, including hundreds of temporary roadside cabins and other outlets, source of livelihood for poor Muslims.

Copying Israel to cause economic losses to Muslims

While authorities say that these were encroachments on government land, the timing of the action indicates it was intended as a collective punishment to Muslims for challenging the miscreants who had infiltrated in the yatra and raised anti-Muslim slogans. The action seems to be on the pattern of Israeli government which pulls down houses and properties of those Palestinian Muslims who resist the aggression by illegal Jewish settlers or the illegal police action.

Medical shops, diagnostic centres and other shops bulldozed in front of the Nalhar Medical College and Hospital. Photo by Syed Ahmad Ali.

In its zeal to award collective punishment, the local municipality under police protection even demolished buildings that were constructed legally. Among them include a four-storeyed Sahara Hotel that was owned by Aqeel Meo of Palwal district. One Jamshed Meo, who ran the hotel, went into depression after demolition of the hotel and is currently under treatment in a hospital. The estimated loss of the hotel owner is said to be Rs. 2 crore.

Likewise, a pucca ground plus one house of a Muslim on Jhanda Road was bulldozed while a marble shop belonging to a Hindu adjoining the Muslim house, was not touched at all.

The municipality and the police also bulldozed the ground floor of Kajaria Tiles and Home Décor near Jhanda Park. Its owner Liaqat Ali Meo said that he constructed the showroom on his own land and was doing business for the last three years. He said his entire four-storeyed building would have been demolished had the Punjab and Haryana high court not ordered stay against demolitions. Liaqat Ali said that he had provided shelter to four Bajrang Dal activists who were fleeing after clashes on the main road on July 31. His estimated loss is Rs. 30 lakh.

The ground floor and basement of the building housing the offices of Anees Transporters, next to Kajaraia Town, was also badly damaged in bulldozer action. His estimated loss is Rs. 5 lakh approximately.

In fact, entire Nuh town gives the look of a place devastated by war. More than 100 shops, including medical stores and X-ray and sonography centres were pulled down in front of the Nalhar Medical College and Hospital, all owned by Muslims. In their zeal, the authorities also caused damage to bathrooms, toilets and other properties belonging to the mosque opposite the medical college, resulting into disconnection of electric supply to the mosque. The mosque management said that it will take several days to repair the damage and restore power supply to the masjid.

Hafiz Khalid, masjid’s imam, said that many Hindu patients coming to the medical college used toilet and bathrooms of the mosque because bathrooms in medical college are not maintained properly.

Ziaul Meo, who ran a sample collection centre for Dr. Lal’s Pathology Laboratory, said he suffered a loss of about Rs. 50 lakh because his entire lab was razed to the ground, without giving a chance to remove the equipment.


  1. Like Gujarat 2002. They want to inflict maximum economic damage to Muslims . Muslims need to be learn quickly that any procession organised by RSS are only for inflicting maximum damage to Muslims economically.
    Tanvir Jafri, Surat


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