Families survive anti-Muslim violence in Koderma by locking themselves up

In the aftermath of the anti-Muslim violence in Koderma, stories are emerging of how families survived by locking themselves behind sturdy doors. Koderma in Jharkhand became the scene of yet another targeted attack on minorities this week, when homes of Muslim families were ransacked following a rumour that beef was served at a wedding.


The said wedding took place on Monday and the organisers say only chicken and fish were served. However, on Tuesday, animal remains resembling hooves were found by a few villagers who immediately presumed that a bovine slaughter had taken place and beef had been served at the wedding. Villagers had mobilised crowds from nearby villages and together they all went on a rampage, destroying a looting homes of Muslim families, forcing many families to flee leaving behind whatever meagre possessions they may have had. Some others stayed put but escaped unhurt by locking themselves in strong rooms.

“People broke into my house and ransacked it. They broke everything. I have a family of 12 and we survived because we locked ourselves in an inner room which the rioters could not enter,” says Gulshan Bano, a resident of the village. “We are safe now and luckily no one was hurt,” she says.

It was almost identical for Asif Ansari who also locked his family into a room which the rioters could not enter as they were unable to break the door. “When I saw the mob approaching, I made sure my entire family and I stayed locked up in a safe room in the house. The rioters became frustrated when they could not break the door, so they started pelting stones. They managed to break a few window panes and some rocks fell inside the house,” he says. His two neighbours were not that lucky. “Two young boys who live in the house next door were beaten up by the rampaging mob,” he says. Ansari and his family have now left the village for a few days and are at what he calls a ‘safe place’.
Following this attack, Section 144 was imposed in Nawadih village in Domchand block, making it illegal for people to assemble in groups. This was done in a bid to control the violence. Koderma Superintendent of Police Shivani Tiwar said, “We have arrested seven persons in this connection. The situation is under control now. We have sent the hooves for forensic test and can confirm only after receiving a report.”



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