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Two Imams Killed in a Week in India, Another Found Dead

Two Imams Killed in a Week in India, Another Found Dead

Uttar Pradesh has been rocked by a series of brutal killings targeting Islamic clerics over the past week. In a span of just four days, three Muslim clerics were murdered in different districts, sparking outrage, fear and serious questions about the safety of the community’s scholars.

The first incident took place on June 8th in Kadipur village when 65-year-old Maulana Farooq, a respected madrasa chief, was beaten to death with an iron rod. Police initially claimed the attack was motivated by a financial dispute with the alleged perpetrator Chandramani Tiwari. However, Farooq’s family has vehemently denied any monetary conflicts, alleging a more nefarious motive.

Just three days later, tragedy struck twice more in a deeply disturbing pattern. In the early hours of June 11th, 36-year-old Maulana Akram, the imam of Badi Masjid mosque in Bhainsia village of Moradabad district, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen. His body was discovered in nearby ruins, and police recovered a 0.312 caliber pistol assumed to be the murder weapon from the scene. Akram, a resident of Chaupura Maswasi village in Rampur, left behind a devastated wife Amana and three young children.

Later that same day, the decapitated body of 50-year-old imam Fazlur Rahman was discovered in Balla Majra village of Shamli district. Rahman had gone to work in a garden with his mentally challenged son but never returned. His shocking beheading has left the community traumatized.

The horrific series of murders within such a short timeframe has understandably raised widespread concerns for the safety and security of Islamic scholars across Uttar Pradesh. Prominent political voices have spoken out, demanding action.

Shaukat Ali, state president of the All India Majlise-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party, slammed the government over the deteriorating law and order situation. “Criminals are completely disregarding the law while the government remains silent. First our Ulema was killed in Pratapgarh, and now Maulana Akram was shot dead. It’s truly distressing,” he stated, urging Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to swiftly compensate the victims’ families and apprehend the culprits.

Ali also criticized opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav for their silence on the issue despite the slain clerics’ support for their parties. “These same Ulema urged people to vote for the INDIA bloc, but the big leaders are silent.” Congress leader Imran Pratapghari visited Rahman’s grieving family, calling for an impartial probe into the heinous crime. Senior police officials have promised heightened security measures as the disturbing murders are investigated urgently.

The motive behind the coordinated attacks remains unclear, but the pattern of Islamic scholars being systematically targeted has sown immense fear. As Uttar Pradesh grapples with this crisis, the demand for swift justice and reassurance about the safety of the minority community’s leaders grows louder by the day.