Three children, all below the age of 12 years, were identified on Friday for allegedly hurling stones from a madrasa at a group of women and girls who were part of a religious procession in the communally sensitive Nuh town in Haryana the evening before.
Thursday evening’s incident left six women and three girls with injuries and sparked tensions in the area, prompting the administration to rush police reinforcements to avoid a wider flare-up. The nine were part of a group of 20-25 people of a Dalit family that was on its way via the Pandu Ram Chowk to carry out rituals at a nearby temple.
Narendra Bijarniya, Nuh superintendent of police, said the three children “are under process of being produced before juvenile justice board, which will decide if they be sent to remand home or be handed over to parents”.
According to law, children between the age of 7 and 12 have conditional immunity from criminal liability — they will be held liable only if it can be established that they understood the implications of their actions.
Police, on a complaint by one Ramavatar Ram, filed an FIR against unidentified people under sections 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at City Nuh police station on Friday.
The tension following Thursday’s incident comes three-and-a-half months after communal clashes rocked the district in July, when six people, including two home guards, were killed.
Nuh deputy commissioner, Dhirendra Khadgata, told HT that the situation in the district is now peaceful. “CCTV footage is being scanned and some locals are also being quizzed,” he said.
The madrasa administration told police that the children had mistakenly thrown stones while playing on the terrace. “Police are verifying this claim,” said Nuh DC Khadgata.
Mufti Zahid Hussain Kasim, head mufti of Badi masjid and senior-most office bearer of the madrasa, said, “The three children were playing on terrace as there were no classes on Friday.”