Kairana area of Shamli district – which, according to BJP MP Hukum Singh, witnessed a ‘Hindu exodus’ after criminals belonging to a particular religion extorted money from the members of the Hindu community – has registered one extortion case this year, say police records. According to the papers accessed by dna, not only in Kairana, even Kandhla – which apparently saw 63 families leaving their homes behind – reported two extortion cases.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In fact, contrary to claims made by the BJP MP that the criminals belonged to one particular religion, in all the three extortion cases the arrested accused do not belong to a particular religion.Hukum Singh had released two lists, one each from Kairana and Kandhla, naming more than 400 Hindu families. The MP had claimed that the members of Hindu community, being a minority in Kairana area, have been leaving their homes due to the “looming threat of extortionists and criminals”.The first and only case reported from Kairana involved three suspects whom the police identified as Subash, Waseem and Babu. In FIR number 146/16, registered on March 7 this year, the accused made an extortion call to Kishori Lal and his son Nikhil who own a private business of making utensils. While Waseem, younger brother of local gangster Mukeem Kala and Babu, had allegedly plotted to extort the money, Subash was given the duty of carrying out the crime. Contrary to BJP’s claim, two of the three accused turned out to be from one religion while third accused belonged to another religion. Subash was arrested on March 11 while Waseem and Babu were at the time cooling their heels in prison.Likewise, in Kandhla, a total of two cases have been registered so far. Both, according to the police here, have been registered in the first week of June. The first case was registered against Vipul Khooni, who is lodged in prison as well. According to police, Vipul allegedly extorted one lakh rupees from Vijender Singh, who owns a garment business in the area. The second and the latest case was lodged against Surinder Kala, who allegedly tried to extort money from his own relative, who is a chemist. Other than these two incidents of crimes, the biggest that took place in 2016 was looting of one Tarun Agarwal, whose Rs 40,000 were allegedly stolen by two persons, identified as Anwar and Sameer.Speaking to dna, several residents – belonging to both Hindu and Muslim communities – said that crime has been a major issue in Kairana, but not animosity between religious groups.”There are instances of crime, which include phone snatching, vehicle thefts, pickpocketing and so on,” explained Ashish, who, along with Pawan, owns a shop in Kairana main market. In fact, Pawan told dna that his own own bike was stolen from Kairana in 2015. One Mohamad Nawab too shared the view with Ashish and Pawan.Additional superintendent of police AK Jha told dna that one of the major cases of extortion was a double murder that had taken place in August 2014. Two brothers, identified as Shiv Kumar and Rajendra Kumar, were murdered at their shop after they refused to pay up money to local gangster Mukeem. The brothers in the business of supplying iron had been targeted by Mukeem’s gang. Following their murder, Mukeem’s gang, which had 29 members, collapsed after a police crackdown. 25 members, including Mukeem, were arrested and four killed in encounters. The BJP delegation, constituted to probe the alleged Hindu exodus, on Wednesday visited the brother’s father Mahesh Chand, who lives in Kairana with his sons families.
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