Muzaffarnagar, Nov 5: Five years ago, Muzaffarnagar in UP was in the headlines for bad reasons. Because of intense polarisation and reverse polarisation ahead of the Lok Sabha election the next year, the district in eastern UP saw Hindu-Muslim riots.
However, there is a village in the district named Dulhera, which is about an hour's drive from the district headquarters Muzaffarnagar, where not a single incident of violence was reported. However, around 70 Muslim families left their homes in the Jat-dominated village fearing a backlash. Those families have now started returning, thanks to one man who belongs to the majority community.
According to a report in Inuth.com, Sanjeev Pradhan, a former village head, has made it a mission to bring back the families that had left the village in 2013. Thirty-four families have already returned in the last five years and Pradhan wants all of them back.
Pradhan said nothing had happened in Dulhera but yet, Muslim families left out of fear since riots took place in the neighbouring village. He said it was only them who had dropped those families in other villages like Shahpur and Palda.
The exit of the Muslim families created economic problems for Dulhera as there was a shortage of daily wage labourers. It was then decided that those who left will be brought back. Pradhan, however, had a challenging task in his hand. On one hand, he had to overcome the initial resistance from the villagers while on the other, he had to convince those Muslim families to return. The villagers kept in touch with the families that left and also took care of their belongings and this way, a trust was built again, the Inuth report added.
Those who have returned say the situation is peaceful now.
However, the current pradhan Arvind Kumar is of the opinion that those who have returned to their homes had done so within a few days of the riots, the report added.