Muslim family boycotted for refusal to donate land for graveyard in UP

A Muslim family in Barabanki's Rampur Katra village is facing social boycott for almost two months now for refusing to donate their one bigha land for a graveyard in the village. The decision to boycott the family was allegedly taken in a panchayat.

The family had lodged complaints with the police and the administration a week ago.

On Wednesday, they locked their house and left the village fearing attack by villagers. Station Officer (SO) of local Safdarganj police station, Indresh Yadav, who reached the village Wednesday to inquire into the matter, said primary investigations reveal that Israr and his family were facing social boycott for over one-and-a-half months.

Yadav also said a group of 21 persons of the village, who prima facie appear to be behind the act, have been issued notices to appear before the local sub-divisional magistrate (SDM). When enquired, SDM of Sirauli Gauspur area Shashikant Prasad, who visited the village Tuesday, said the inquiry has found that the family is facing social boycott and it was also confirmed that the family had not collected the grocery from the local fair price shop.

He is inquiring if the shop owner had denied the commodities to the family, he added. Prasad also said those involved in the alleged harassment of the family, who include the head of the panchayat, have been issued notices.

Local village head Rizwana Bano's husband Mohammad Adil said: "Muslim families in the village have boycotted Israr and his family following his reluctance to donate his land." He informed that the village has a total population of around 18,000, which 75 per cent are Muslims.

The inquiry found that for the last few months, Mohammad Israr, a vegetable vendor, was allegedly being forced by the locals to donate his land so that area of the graveyard could be extended. Panchayat had summoned Israr several times to convince him in this regard, but he always refused.

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