Muzaffarnagar’s Purbaliyan village has witnessed communal violence earlier as well. In August this year, a cricket spat between two boys turned communal. On August 21, Sumit Pal and Asif, neighbors who had been friends for years, got into a fight during a friendly game of cricket. Asif’s mother kicked up a storm when she saw her son’s head bleeding and confronted the Pal family. So far, it was just a fight between two boys and their mothers. On the evening of August 23, a member of the Muslim community was allegedly accosted and beaten up. Abid, who works as a help in Shamsher Ahmed’s house, claimed a group of boys ganged up on him and beat him up. Neither Abid nor his employer Shamsher had anything to do with either Sumit or Asif – the two boys who had first got into a scuffle. A tiny on-field cricket spat had now snowballed into a communal issue. When Abid recounted his ordeal to his employer, Shamsher decided to take him to the police station. On the way, Abid noticed Sumit’s cousin Nishu Kumar standing in a corner. Abid pointed Nishu out and Shasher accosted the teen. Rahul Kumar, Nishu’s brother, claimed Shamsher beat up his own servant. What started out as a spat between two teenage boys on the cricket field became a case of rising communal tensions in this village. But the question people are still asking is, does a small village spat really merit a case under the stringent National Security Act?