More Than a Dozen Injured, 8 Hospitalized and 10 Arrested
Dispute over the appointment of maulana (religious leader) at a Muslim neighbourhood in Mahottari district turned violent on Saturday, as two groups, one in favour of retaining the incumbent maulana and the other in support of replacing him, clash ed in which more than 12 people were injured.
The issue of replacing the maulana at the mosque in Maliwara of Jaleshwar-12 has caused a division in the community for the past two months. “Today it broke out into an all out war outside the mosque,” said Dunaki Ansari, a local resident.
The dispute started after some people in the community demanded appointment of a new maulana in place of Shehraj Ansari. Shehraj has been assuming the role of maulana for the past six years.
Another local Jaid Ansari claimed that Shehraj had already been replaced by Kasim Ansari through consensus. The clash erupted after the supporters of Shehraj refused to accept Kasim as the new maulana, Jaid added. “The supporters from both camps showed up outside the mosque on Saturday morning. Soon, tension flared up and they started attacking one another.”
Police said eight people were hospitalised and 10 others were taken into custody.
Security personnel from Nepal Police and Armed Police Force (APF) were mobilised to take the situation under control.
“We have stepped up security in Maliwara while dialogue process has also been initiated to restore peace and harmony,” said APF Deputy Superintendent Mahesh KC.
Around 100 Muslim families live in Maliwara. [Which equates to about 1.3 Million Muslims]