'Red cards' given by the police to 250 residents, both Hindus and Muslims, of the Khelum village in Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly has created a panic among the residents of the village, making 70 Muslim families flee to other place. The red card was reportedly given to these people on suspicion that they may create trouble during the annual Kanwar yatra this year.
The Indian Express reported that apart from these 'red cards', 441 locals in the area, identified by the district administration, were allegedly made to sign bonds of Rs 5 lakhs so that they did not create any trouble.
These extreme measures are supposedly the fallout of clashes between Muslim villagers and Kanwariyas during the annual yatra last year.
However, these measures have left people of the Khelum village scared.
One person, who received the red card, told The Indian Express, "I was not even there the last time the incident occurred... In the last fifteen days, police have conducted multiple checks in many houses and issued red cards. A fear has developed...I left my house a week back with my family to another village...Occasionally, I come back to check on my house."
The report said that while 70 Muslim families had fled the area, Hindu families were not that worried and hoped for a peaceful yatra.
Last year, clashes had erupted over loud music being played by the kanwariyas.
The Khelum village is on the route the kanwariyas take every year for their yatra. In July 2017, people had pelted stones at the kanwariyas, after which they also retaliated, leading to a clash that saw eight people, including two police persons, getting injured.
Read the entire story on The Indian Express here.