On December 3, over 150 students at a primary and junior secondary school in Bulandshahr's Chingrawathi village, where a mob of some 400 people violently confronted police that day, were served the mid-day meal early at 11.15am.
Singh, along with two lady teachers and two shiksha mitras, teaches the students from Class 1-5. Uma Rani, along with one more teacher, teaches the students from Class 6-8. Both primary and junior secondary sections operate from the same school campus.
"The crowd was unusually loud, it appeared unprecedented. A message reached us from the Basic Shiksha Adhikari at 11 am, saying the situation does not look fine due to the Ijtiba (Muslim congregation), serve meal to the children and leave them early," Singh said.
A huge number of people had gathered in Bulandshahr for the three-day Ijtiba, being held at a distance from the site of violence. But the main road, near the school, was packed with vehicles and people heading to the congregation.
Singh said the teachers, who come from outside (Meerut), were also asked to leave early lest they get caught in the traffic.
The otherwise quaint village of Bulandshahr made headlines on Monday when a 20-year-old man and a police inspector were killed of gunshots during a mob violence over apparently after cow carcasses were found in a nearby jungle.
Four of the nearly 90 accused, 27 of them named, in the FIR registered following the violence have been arrested. A Bajrang Dal man, said to be the main accused, remains on the run.
(With inputs from agencies.)