Tensions persisted in Purola, Uttarkashi district, as shops owned by Muslim community members remained closed for more than a week after an alleged elopement attempt, triggering protests.
To address concerns from certain Hindu groups and local regarding "outsiders", including Muslims, the district administration has formed joint teams of police and revenue officials to investigate the background of individuals from outside the area.
According to reports, many Muslim shopkeepers have reportedly left the area.
However, authorities have refuted the reports of Muslim shopkeepers leaving the area, saying that the situation was back to normal there.
On 27 May, tensions flared after locals caught two men and a girl. After it was found that one of the two men was Muslim, the locals alleged that the case was that of "Love Jihad".
Two men, Ubaid Khan and Jitendra Saini, were arrested and charged with kidnapping and procuring a minor girl under IPC and POCSO Act, while the girl was sent back home.
The two arrested accused are now in judicial custody.
Purola, located 160 km from Dehradun, has only 7-8 Muslim families as permanent residents. During yatra season, the rest come to run part-time businesses while living on rent.
A shop owner from minority community was cited in an Indian Express report as saying that several Muslims, including himself, had temporarily left.
According to the shop owner, several youths threatened to vandalise his shop if he did not close it down.
Upon sharing the information with the local trade union president, he was taken to the police for assistance.
The following day, the shop owner was informed of a planned rally, and hence chose to keep his shop closed.
"During the rally some people vandalised the hoardings and flex boards of shops owned by Muslims,” the shop owner was quoted as saying by IE.
500 shops in Purola are run by Hindus and only 30-40 by Muslims, according to him.
Virendra Rawat, working president of VHP in Purola, accused people from the minority community of illegal activities under the disguise of businesses.
Purola SDM Devanand Sharma and Uttarkashi SP Arpan Yaduvanshi denied the reports of people leaving the area.
SP Yaduvanshi stated that he had not received any complaints or information about people leaving the are in fear.
According to Brij Mohan Chauhan, president of the Purola Vyapar Mandal, Muslim-owned shops have remained closed following rallies.
Despite calls from a lot of people that all those from the minority community should leave, the vyapar mandal does not support this stance, Chauhan added.
Chauhan emphasised the importance of not troubling those who have been verified.
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