RUMOURS by one of the conspirators that some torn pages of Quran were discovered by him on the railway tracks near the sleepy town of Masuri in the National Capital Region, led to mob violence in the town in which six persons died, more than two dozen persons, including a police officer and a cop, were seriously injured. Ignited by inflammatory speeches by the clergy in the local mosque after the Friday prayers, a 5,000 plus mob, some of them armed with rifles, country made pistols and crude bombs, attacked the police post and Hindus. Police version is that though the small police contingent was out-numbered and poorly armed, they retaliated by opening fire to save their lives and to protect a nearby petrol pump only after the use of teargas had no effect on the violent mob that continued stoning the police post, threw crude bombs and fired at the police. The mob was dispersed only after reinforcement arrived. The main conspirator who spread the rumor in the town and adjoining villages to incite people is now hiding. After dispersal, the angry mob indulged in destruction of property and attacked Hindus seriously injuring several of them.
The muezzin of local mosque, Abdul Qadir, who filed the controversial FIR on Friday, has now disowned the document saying that he didn’t write it and that Jalil-ur-Rehman, a neighbour, misled him on its contents. His version is that Rehman showed him some pages of Quran with a mobile number written on them claiming that he saw someone travelling by the Kashi Viswanath Express throwing the sacred text near Adhyatamik Nagar railway stop. The muezzin further stated that he reluctantly went to the police station with Rehman and a large crowd of agitated Muslims and was “forced” to sign the complaint drafted by Rehman in Hindi – “a language I can neither read nor write”. Preliminary enquiries by the police show that it was a “conspiracy with political intent” and that it was a well organised attack. The violent crowd sealed both the roads leading to the police post to prevent reinforcement reaching the police post. They systematically used SMSs and other methods to spread the rumour about the alleged sacrilege to elicit support from Muslim-dominated villages in the neighbourhood. Intriguingly, the authorities suspended the Masuri police post in-charge, transferred the circle officer and Sub Divisional Magistrate for their “failure to deal with the situation”. An FIR against unknown persons for murder, attempt to murder and rioting with deadly weapons and destruction of property was also registered, but no arrest was made because “arrests might lead to a fresh bout of violence”, says the police. Or was it on the orders of the political bosses for political and electoral considerations? However, the Chief Minister lost no time in sanctioning Rs five lakh to each of the rioters killed in firing as compensation (read prize for the organised violence).
Masuri is not the only town in Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country that witnessed vicious bouts of violence in recent months. There have been similar unprovoked/rumour-generated communal violence in about half a dozen cities and towns in UP since the SP—the party that is in stiff competition with other “secular parties” in appeasing radical Muslims who dominate discourse in the community—came to power. Muslim aggression kept Bareilly under curfew for several weeks and there were communal riots in Kosi Kalan in Mathura district and Asthan in Pratapgarh district targeting Hindus. Radical elements in the community and their blind followers obviously enjoy impunity for violence under the present dispensation. Recently, a violent mob of 30,000 plus Muslims created mayhem in Muslim-dominated Talua village in Bihar. They attacked Hindus, put on fire their shops and homes after looting them, all for a broken wine bottle found near the Idgah.It is disgusting that the police haven’t brought the rioters to justice. No FIR has been registered and even Mahboob Alam, a former CPI member of the State Assembly who led the violent crowd, is roaming free in the village. No one in the Government has bothered to assuage the deep hurt caused to the victims. The hapless Hindus in the State run by the “secular” Chief Minister with the support of nationalist BJP are now being threatened with further violence for crimes they never committed.
In August, a Muslim mob of 50,000 or so emerged from Mumbai’s Azad Maidan and went berserk. They attacked police, molested a policewoman, burnt down vehicles, smashed shops and desecrated Amar Jawan Jyoti to vent their anger against “persecution” of Muslims in Assam and Myanmar. Islamists indulged in similar violence in Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai and several other cities in support of their co-religionists in Assam, including illegal migrants from Bangladesh. Sinister messages were relayed to Indian citizens belonging to north-eastern states living in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai to quit the cities by August 20 or face the consequences. There was exodus by several thousand threatened and frightened citizens who had come all the way from north-east to south India in search of jobs. Some of them are now returning to their jobs. Unfortunately, no serious effort has been made to bring the mischief mongers to justice in any of the affected states barring much-maligned Karnataka.
Violence in UP and other parts of the country are no stray incidents. These are part of a deep rooted conspiracy to terrorise the nation and show their muscle and vote power. Radicals have shown that when it comes to Muslims, community prevails over geography and that national boundaries are meaningless. They have also struck a blow to communal harmony and emotional integration of India and have fortified the sense of alienation among the people of north-east. Islamist and jihadists must be gloating over the helplessness of the Government and the Congress Party that is fearful that firm action against the instigators of violence could have dire electoral consequences.
Having bared their fangs, Islamists like the fire-eating MP from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi are now issuing threats of a “third wave” of radicalisation if their perceived/ imaginary “grievances” were not expeditiously addressed. These are ominous signs. Hindu society’s inertia and deafening silence of the political class will further encourage anti-national elements to indulge in their nefarious designs. It will have dire consequences for the society and the nation.