While Gujarat was burning, a small town in Bihar set an example of communal amity, when a group of Hindus got together and protected a mosque from being vandalised.

During Friday’s bandh in Muzzaffarpur, called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to protest the Godhra carnage, a group of hooligans tried to enter the Company Bagh mosque and vandalise it.

A senior police official, who was present on the spot when the incident occurred, said that when the word spread about the bid by the hooligans to enter the mosque, almost 100 Hindus converged on the spot from the nearby Goriamath and Sariyaganj area and challenged them.

A tussle broke out in which quite few Hindus were injured while guarding the mosque, but the hooligans had to beat a hasty retreat in face of stiff resistance, he said.

By the time police reinforcement came in, the hooligans had done the vanishing act.

Muzzafarpur has the distinction of never having witnessed a communal riot.

“Thanks to timely intervention of local Hindus a major incident was averted,” a senior police officer said, heaving a sigh of relief.

[Courtesy: Rediff.com Saturday March 2, 2002]