Authorities in Chhattisgarh have initiated a probe after a video purportedly showing residents of a village in Surguja district taking a pledge to neither do commercial transactions with members of the Muslim community nor sell their land to them went viral on social media, officials said on Friday.
After the video, reportedly shot in Kundikala village located under Lundra police station limits of the district on January 5, came to light on Thursday, senior police and administration officials visited the village and initiated an inquiry.
According to the officials, the video appears to be a fallout of a brawl between residents of two villages on January 1.
People in the video can be heard saying, “From today, we Hindus pledge to not buy any item from a Muslim shopkeeper and not to sell them anything. We pledge to not sell or give our lands on lease to Muslims. We Hindus pledge to buy from vendors coming to our villages only after ascertaining their religion. We also pledge to not work as labourers for them.”
Surguja Collector Sanjeev Jha told PTI on Friday that after the video surfaced, the district’s Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) and Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) visited the village on Thursday and gathered details about the incident.
Further action is being taken into the matter, he added.
On January 1, residents from Aara village, which falls in neighbouring Balrampur district, visited Kundikala to celebrate the New Year during which they entered into a brawl with some locals, Surguja ASP Vivek Shukla said.
The next day, a resident of Kundikala, lodged a complaint alleging half-a-dozen villagers of Aara (belonging to a particular community) along with some others barged into his house and thrashed him and two family members, including his niece, he said.
Based on the complaint, 6 persons were arrested, but all of them got bail from a local court the same day, Shukla said.
Prima facie it seems, taking advantage of that incident, some people provoked residents of Kundikala to hold a gathering and take such a pledge against the minority community, he said.
“We are trying to identify those who administered the oath to the gathering," Shukla added.