Panchayats in Haryana announce boycott of Muslim shopkeepers, decree no entry into village

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In the wake of the recent Nuh riot, reports are emerging of a concerning trend as over 50 Panchayats across three districts – Rewari, Mahendragarh, and Jhajjar – have purportedly issued letters restricting the entry of Muslims, shopkeepers, and businessmen into their communities. The letters, reportedly signed by the Sarpanches of these Panchayats, also require Muslims residing in these villages to submit their identity documents to local police.

Interestingly, a significant number of these villages boast negligible or no minority residents. While there are a few families who have called these places home for generations, the letters have sparked confusion due to their apparent lack of direct relevance. The letters, however, emphasize that their intent is not to offend any religious sentiments.

Manoj Kumar, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Narnool in Mahendragarh, has expressed his stance against such actions, stating that issuing such letters goes against the law. However, he notes that he has yet to receive official copies of the letters and has only learned about them through media and social media outlets. As a response, Kumar has initiated the process of sending show-cause notices to all Panchayats involved.

While the minority population in these villages is reportedly under 2%, the issuance of such notices has raised concerns about the potential impact on communal harmony and goodwill. Many community members are baffled by the notices, given the often insignificant or entirely absent Muslim presence in these areas. This discrepancy has prompted questions about the motivations behind the issuance of these letters and their possible repercussions.

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