A day after a mob torched the local police post and shot dead an inspector, a haunting silence prevailed in Chingrawathi village in Bulandshahr.
"The people in the village are so scared after the incident that most of them have fled their homes,” local resident Anil Kumar told PTI on Tuesday.
"Some, including children and women, have rushed to their relatives in nearby areas and some are camping in the fields, away from their village homes,” the 46-year-old said.
"It is the fear of the police," he said.
Police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a 20-year-old man Sumit died of gunshot wounds when a mob went on rampage over alleged cow slaughter.
Anil Kumar claimed that 30-32 cows were slaughtered and their heads strewn near Mahav village on the other side of Chingrawathi village.
"Then people from both the villages gathered at Chingrawathi police post and obstructed traffic on the main road demanding that an inquiry should conducted by a senior official, such as the DM, and strict action taken against the culprits," said Anil Kumar.
"When the violence broke out, brickbats were hurled and the inspector opened fire, in which Sumit from my neighborhood suffered injuries and died," he said.
The inspector was injured in the mob violence and was attacked again when he was being taken to hospital, the police said.
He was shot in the head, they said.
"The entire village is being considered guilty," another villager said.
Sumit's mother and three of his sisters were at their home in the village and a neighbour said they had not yet been informed about his death.
Sumit's father Amarjit Singh, 55, brother Vineet, 22, and sister Babli were accompanying the body being brought home from Meerut, where he had been taken for medical treatment, neighbours said.
"Sumit was the youngest of the six siblings. He was preparing for competitive exams in Ghaziabad," his cousin Anuj Kumar, 20, said.
"He was a very soft-spoken boy. I never heard him utter anything other than Ram, Ram," Anil Kumar said.
Chingrawathi village head Ajay Kumar said the violence was unprecedented.
"There are three Muslim families in the village but there has never been any untoward incident so far," he said.
National Jat Mahasabha state president Rohit Jakhar demanded compensation for inspector and the villager killed in the violence, and government jobs for their kin.
"Those guilty must be brought to book and no innocent person should suffer," he said.