Communal tension at Agra village after boy ‘kidnaps’ girl

The police said both were minors and that they knew each other

Tension prevailed at Semra village in Agra on Wednesday owing to a communal flare-up after a girl was allegedly kidnapped on Tuesday by a boy from another community. The police said both were minors and preliminary investigations revealed they knew each other.

A few shops of the minority community were burnt down on Tuesday evening.

Local sources said that the family of the girl reported the matter to the police after the student of Standard IX did not return home from school on Tuesday. Before the police could act on the complaint, word spread that she was last seen outside a minority-populated area. A crowd of hundreds torched shops of the minority community, leading to an atmosphere of fear. According to local reports, a few families left the village.

Superintendent of Police, Agra (West) Rural, Ravi Kumar said three-four shops were burnt down. “We quickly brought the situation under control. No injuries were reported. A unit of PAC [Provincial Armed Constabulary] is stationed in the village. There is no threat to anybody. Shops remained open on Thursday,” he told The Hindu. “About 200 unidentified persons have been booked under Sections 147, 148, 149 and four other sections of IPC for rioting, wrongful assembly and promotion of disharmony. We are gathering evidence,” Mr. Kumar said.

He added that the minor boy, a student of Standard XI, was presented at the juvenile court on Wednesday and the girl’s statement was recorded. “Though it is still a matter of investigation, it is confirmed that they knew each other well. They lived in the same neighbourhood. They had moved towards Delhi and returned on their own,” the police official said.

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