“I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah, and he who professed it was guaranteed the protection of his property and life on my behalf except for the right affairs rest with Allah.” (Sahih Muslim 30) So said Muhammad. And if they do not embrace Islam, their property and life are not safe.
Around 80 Valmiki families in Rampur have announced to embrace Islam in order to “save their houses from demolition”. Five of them have even started an indefinite hunger strike against the government’s plan to widen the roads in Topkhana locality, as the municipal body said, by clearing the “encroachments”.
The police have registered a case against 86 members of the Valmiki community for staging an agitation against UP Urban Development Minister Azam Khan, after protests by SP workers.
The issue began on April 6 when municipal authorities marked the houses for demolition at Topkhana locality. SP’s district unit office is located on same road and the civic body is also constructing a multi-storeyed ‘Gandhi Mall’ in the same locality.
“We held the agitation as Valmiki community are living in the locality for 60 years and our houses are in danger. Now, they don’t want us to live near the beautiful mall as our houses are spoiling its beauty,” Eklavya Valmiki, who is named in the FIR, told The Indian Express. He is also an office bearer of Valmiki Basti Bachao Sangarsh Samiti, which is leading the agitation.