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Murder In The Bylanes: Life And Death In A Divided City

Murder In The Bylanes: Life And Death In A Divided City

  • Author: Aloke Lal, Maanas Lal
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • ISBN: 9789354352393
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Keeping the peace in a time of chaos

Uttar Pradesh in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition was a state on edge. When Aloke Lal took over as the Deputy Inspector General of Kanpur, the congratulations came with a warning-to move with caution as Kanpur was then the most volatile city in north India. In
Murder in the Bylanes, Lal recounts his time policing a city on the brink of riots, particularly after the violent killing of the prominent local politician and slumlord Munna Sonkar aka 'Kala Bachcha'. Seen as both a bulwark for Hindus against Muslims and a saviour of several of his Muslim tenants, he was a study in contradiction, and his murder was seen as the last straw by both communities.

Murder in the Bylanes is a gripping account of how a demoralised and broken police force, reduced to being a bystander in pockets where criminals controlled localities, was asked to maintain order. It is also a reminder of how communal disharmony can tear apart our social fabric.


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Aloke Lal / crime / Maanas Lal /