Nizamabad: The Village Development Committee, an unauthorized body, in Balkonda, Nizamabad district, declared a social and commercial boycott of Muslims last week. They decided to levy a heavy penalty on those who maintain any social or commercial relations with the Muslims in the village. The boycott imposed to pressurize Muslim community to give up the claim over the graveyard.
The dilemma emerged when some Hindus tried to occupy the burial ground illegally which owes to Muslims after destroying a few graves. Then Muslims lodged a complaint against the invaders and the police took an action against accused. It made them upset and anger.
After the boycott declaration, Muslims were facing extreme difficulties in the holy month of Ramazan owing to the ‘unlawful restrictions.’ Access to shops, markets, and public places were denied. Even the Muslim families living for rent in the Hindu owned houses were asked to vacate the property. The committee said that any person who speaks with a Muslim will be penalized with Rs 5000 and if he or she drinks tea at a Muslim owned restaurant the penalty will be Rs. 20,000. Also, if a non-Muslim buys anything from a general store of a Muslim he would be levied with a fine of Rs 20,000. The non-Muslim will also be penalized for traveling in auto-rickshaws driven by Muslims.
The local administration and public across India reacted strongly condemning the boycott. The local police which had not acted upon the complaint lodged by the Mosque committee on boycott earlier moved in and registered cases against those who were behind the illegal act. They counselled both groups on Wednesday evening and organised an Iftar party for both at Jama Masjid in Balkonda. Balkonda SI T. Hari said that issues between some families led to the social boycott. “We registered three cases against 30 VDC members and a few others under IPC sections 385, 290 and 506,” he said.