In UP’s Taprana, Muslims forced to sell houses and flee after police crackdown

18 June 2020
Zameer Khan, a 70-year-old, examining the damage caused to his nephew’s car, outside his house in Taprana village in UP's Shamli district. Villagers said that on the intervening night of 26 and 27 May, police personnel attacked Muslim homes, destroyed their belongings, beat up the residents and arrested several men.
Shahid Tantray for The Caravan
Zameer Khan, a 70-year-old, examining the damage caused to his nephew’s car, outside his house in Taprana village in UP's Shamli district. Villagers said that on the intervening night of 26 and 27 May, police personnel attacked Muslim homes, destroyed their belongings, beat up the residents and arrested several men.
Shahid Tantray for The Caravan

In the Muslim-dominated Taprana village of Shamli district in western Uttar Pradesh, a leaflet stuck outside close to fifty Muslim homes read: 

This house is for sale. We are forced to flee the village due to ransacking and destruction by the police and its informers. Our children and women are mentally compelled to leave the village.

These Muslim families—90 percent of Taprana’s population comprises Muslims—had decided to leave after an attack that occurred on the intervening night of 26 and 27 May. Residents alleged that around two hundred police personnel, members of the Provincial Armed Constabulary, or PAC, and local informers attacked the villagers. They severely beat up dozens of Muslim residents—including a 13-year-old girl and a 30-year-old man with a mental disability—verbally abused them, ransacked their homes, and destroyed their belongings. The police were so barbaric, villagers said, that they brutally beat up children and senior citizens, used slurs against the women, and even thrashed the cattle tied in the courtyard of a house. Some residents further alleged that the police personnel looted their savings and valuables such as jewellery.

Sunil Kashyap is a reporting fellow at The Caravan.

Shahid Tantray is a multimedia reporter at The Caravan. He tweets at @shahidtantray.

Keywords: Uttar Pradesh Police Shamli Muslims in India police cruelty police brutality
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