Azamgarh (UP), June 16 (IANS) Sanjarpur in Azamgarh has been known as a ‘terror hub’ after the alleged accused persons in the 2008 Batla House encounter were arrested from the village.
The village that has lived with the stigma for more than a decade is now being known for something else. The people of Sanjarpur have set up a ‘mask centre’ in which they are making 1,500 to 2,000 face masks per day.
“We have distributed about 26,000 masks till now and we are getting orders from NGOs and other organisations as well. People are coming here on their own to contribute by making masks and some have even brought their own sewing machines,” said Tariq Shafiq, who set up the mask manufacturing centre.
Shafiq said that he is happy that the village is finally shedding its ‘terror tag’ and is getting known for doing something positive.
District Congress President Praveen Singh said that when Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi came to know about the initiative, she sent a letter of appreciation to the centre.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has also appreciated the work being done by the people of Sanjarpur.
“It feels nice to be appreciated for one’s efforts. The people are also happy to be able to contribute to the society through this work,” said Tariq.
Talking about the ‘terror tag’, Tariq said, “The people here never expected such an allegation or the label of terror on our village. We are fighting and what if one day all the youth are acquitted? How and who will return their golden years?”
Incidentally, legendary Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi was born in this district.
His actor-daughter Shabana Azmi is developing his birthplace Mizwaan. The area is also famous for the Shibli College, which was set up before Independence.
The village has a primary madarsa, a government-run primary school, and junior high school, a primary health centre and recently some roads were also made.