The Mid Day
Please stay, Hindus tell Sangli Muslims
shops gutted in Miraj riots to stem their exodus
Even as communal
violence recently rocked Sangli and Kolhapur districts over the
installation of a welcome arch depicting Afzal Khan's slaying by
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Miraj, two villages have set an example
of communal harmony.
At Kavatepiran village in Sangli and Rashiwde-Budruk village in
Kolhapur, the Hindu community has raised funds and is repairing
houses, mosques and shops belonging to Muslims in a bid to stem their.
In Kavatepiran, which has a population of 22,000 people, two mosques
were damaged, and several houses and shops belonging to Muslims were
set on fire after violence erupted on September 8. Of the 200 Muslim
families in the village, around 30 had decided to pack belongings and
relocate to a safer place.
As the news spread, several Hindu groups got into the act and started
lending a helping hand in the repair works. Prominent leaders also
joined the initiative.
At Rashiwde-Budruk village in Radhanagari taluka of Kolhapur district,
villagers on Wednesday had conducted a special meeting in which it was
decided that money would be collected from Hindus for the repair of a
mosque destroyed during the communal tension. In return, the Muslims
promised to ensure the release of four youths, who were arrested by
the police while they were trying to damage the mosque.
According to director of Kolhapur Zilla Dudh Utpadak Sangh, PD Dhundre,
who hails from the village, "Whatever happened is unfortunate. We do
not want a repeat of the situation?" he said, adding that the repair
work of the mosque will begin this week.