On 13 October 2016, communal riots took place in the Gummakhan Purva and Medilal Purva of village Tatehra, Bahraich during Durga Puja procession which was taking an idol for immersion. In the loot, arson, and violence that followed, 40 houses belonging to members of the Muslim community were burnt down. A 7-year old child, Soni, was tragically burnt to death during the riots. Several people were also grievously injured and cattle and other property and valuables such as vehicles, cattle, cash and jewellery were destroyed.
The fact finding team visited Tatehra on 16 October 2013. Apart from the Gummakhan Purva and Medilal Purva of village Tatehra, the team also visited two adjoining villages, Bahelia and Balchanpur.
Tatehra gram panchayat is located 130 kilometres from Lucknow, in District Bahraich. The village has a total of 44 families— 41 belonging to the Muslim community, 2 to the Kurmi community and 1 to a Scheduled Caste. For years, Hindus and Muslims here have been living together peacefully. Villagers told the team that in 1992, when the Babri Masjid was demolished, this area remained free of any communal clashes. However, the communal clashes which occurred here on 13 October 2016 have turned this atmosphere of peace and harmony into that of hatred and violence.
The Incident at Gummakhan Purva, village Tatehra:
Villages Bahelia and Balchanpur are located near village Gummakhan Purva. Durga Puja festivities have been organised in village Bahelia for the past 12 years and the procession taking the idol for immersion would pass through Gummakhan. In the precious years, women also used to be part of the procession. However this year, there were no women in the procession.