‘They Don’t Want Justice, They Want Riots’: How The Murder Of A Child In Aligarh Turned Into A Communally Tense Issue
Twinkle’s murder has led to hoards of men from Delhi, Gurgaon and Faridabad flocking to Tappal.
The situation in Aligarh is tense. In the aftermath of the brutal murder of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl, Twinkle, in Tapal, 50 kilometres away from the city. Jyoti Yadav, a journalist for The Print, writing for Chhattisgarh Basket, talks about what she saw while reporting from there.
Social media, misinformation and a decidedly communal agenda have turned Tappal into a tinderbox.
Jyoti writes how the situation in Tappal is close to a riot-like state. She has witnessed people from Delhi, Gurgaon and Faridabad trying to enter the are in cars after cars and the CRPF and police forces trying to stop them. Some men with saffron scarves around their faces have been sloganeering “Jai Shri Ram”, talking about attacking members of a minority community, she writes, adding that others have been clashing with reserve forces.
Inside Twinkle’s home, her father says that he is not going to fall for the communally charged propaganda that is being spread by many. Her mother, who hasn’t eaten in ten days, says that they want to see the criminals hanged. The Muslim families, too, say that the culprits should deserve the worst of punishments.
Despite this, Jyoti writes, the men flocking to the city want more than justice. They want unrest and riot. She says that escaping from a riot-like situation, she was asked multiple times to show identification by saffron-clad men. These men were neither from the administration, nor were they cops. She was also threatened by others to stop reporting.
For The Print, Jyoti reports how Hindu men have been repeating over and over that Muslims are not part of the candle marches and the many who have come to sympathise with Twinkle’s family. In the Tappal village, Muslims form one-third of the population. She reports that in the riot-like environment in Tappal, many Muslim families have left, fearing for their safety. Others, who remain, reportedly refused to step out.
As per a ground report in Newslaundry, while many in the Muslim community in Tappal says Zahid and Aslam — the two main accused in the murder — deserve the harshest punishment for their crime, they are also afraid to come out. One resident told Newslaundry, “But our community is scared to head out there, especially with all these angry people pouring into the city. We are with the family, but we are scared. Yahaan dar ka mahaul hai (there is an atmosphere of fear here).”
As per a PTI report from June 10, Special Superintendent of Police (SSP) Akash Kulhari said, “The situation is under control. We will not allow anyone to create discord under the garb of genuine protest.”
He said that action had been initiated against some persons for allegedly misusing social media to fan communal passions. The SSP also denied reports of migration of Muslims from Tappal, saying “a few persons may have moved out temporarily, but they would return shortly”.
Jyoti for CG Basket writes, “The saffron scarf-clad crowd is now the police, the judge the lawyer, and this will be the justice now.”