On November 04, violence erupted in Sampurna Nagar in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh as the right-wing Hindutva forces attempted to communalise the tragic death of a minor girl in suicide. The ensuring communal frenzy led to attack on houses and shops of dozens of members of the local Muslim community.
A seven member CPIML fact-finding team visited the area on November 9 to investigate the issue.
The team talked to the family members of the deceased victim, victims of communal violence and local people. The deceased girl’s mother informed that her daughter was in a relation with a Muslim boy, Zoeb who was later arrested by the police. The death of girl was allegedly attributed to an obscene video of her and Zoeb that was leaked after which the girl was depressed. Police later filed an FIR of rape and suicide in the case and Zoeb was arrested.
Soon, the Hindutva-BJP forces started rally around incident to create communal frezy in the area targeting the Muslim community. In a planned manner, Hindutva groups organised meetings in in villages of Ramnagar, Krishna Nagar and Basahi and called for a march to Sampurna Nagar.
On November 4,, hunderds of members of Bajarang Dal, BJP and other right-wing groups gathered with the girl’s dead body and blocked the main road and started raising provocative slogans. Despite the police presence, soon the mob started attacking the shops of Muslims. A Fruit seller Ramniwas told team that 12 shops belonging to the Muslim community next to him were vandalized and looted. He said all the people part of the mob were outsiders.
Dr. Izhar said that the rioters broke the CCTV cameras installed outside the mosque and pelted stones at the mosque. The investigation team then reached Mohalla Singhahi Khurd, where many people's shops located at the intersection were vandalized and looted. On reaching Singhi Khurd, the locals told that on November 3 itself, the Hindutva groups started threatening that all Muslims will be expelled from the area. During the violence, Shan Mohammad's furniture shop was looted and set on fire. Unable to bear that violence and loss, he later suffered a heart attack and died.
The team also found that entire police and administration remianed a mute spectator during the violence and no action was taken against those involved in the attacks. It was efforts by the locals, which ensured that violence didn’t spiral out of control.
The team has put forwarded following demands:
1. Strictest action should be taken against the people who leaked and circulated the private video of the deceased.
2. FIR should be registered against the right-wing groups and it’s leaders who vitiated the situation and spearheaded the violence.
3. FIR should be registered against those who attacked the Muslim community and looted their shops.
4. Proper compensation should be given to all Muslim shopkeepers whose properties were destroyed .
5. Concrete steps should to ensure peace and create confidence to strengthen the communal harmony in the area.
CPIML team comprised of Central Committee member and AIPWA State President Comrade Krishna, State Committee member and AIPWA District President Comrade Aarti Rai, All India Kisan Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Rai, District Committee members Ram Kisun and Comrade Ravi, senior leaders Comrade Ram Dulare Bharti and Comrade Mahmood.