27 January, 2021

Who’ll Sharpen The Sickles Now?

The Muslims are never going back, the Jats talk of discrimination. Muzaffarnagar will never be the same again.

Sanjay Rawat
Who’ll Sharpen The Sickles Now?

On September 9, at the break of dawn, Yameen and his family fled Kutbi, their ancestral village, in a military rescue truck after a night of terror where they were besieged by hundreds of armed men. “Some 300 people, the Jats of Kutba and Kutbi along with outsiders, pounced on us with guns, knives and lathis. We hid for 12 hours, fearing for our lives every second,” says Yameen.

In Kutba, it started the day before. Tractor-loads of Jats were returning from a mahapanchayat held to mourn —and debate—the death of two boys of the community in Kawal. The entourage was attacked, four people died. After the resultant bloodbath, people like Yameen joined thousands who fled their villages across this belt of western UP, to become refugees in Muslim-dominated hamlets. Nine weeks later, the social landscape of Muz­affarnagar continues to alter.

A steady stream of ‘tempos’ litters the highways, packed with Mus­lim families and their possessions as they leave their mixed-community villages. “We will never return,” says...



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