UP Government’s Muslim first approach creating communal divide
Dr Shakti Kumar Pandey from Lucknow
There seems to be validity in the allegation of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad when the organisation declares that the Chief Minister of UP Akhilesh Yadav is following the foot-steps of his father and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav while pursuing an ‘anti-Hindu’ policy to appease Muslims. In fact the Muslim appeasement policy of Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh is taking an ugly shape now as UP becomes a favourite play-ground for fanatics, fundamentalists and criminals who are bent upon disrupting the peace and harmony of the state. People have started discussing questions like ‘Why does all this not happen in Gujarat’, while the commoners giving obvious reply that ‘Gujarat government doesn’t appease any religious group’. The Faizabad riots are a case in point, where the senior officials were punished simply because they were taking action against the criminals irrespective of their caste and creed.
The VHP had strongly objected to denial of permission to its acting chief Praveen Bhai Togadia when he tried to enter riot-torn Faizabad. The VHP leader was scheduled to arrive at Ayodhya to attend a five -day programme there. The VHP claimed that riots in Faizabad were the results of Muslim appeasement policy adopted by SP government. The VHP threatened that the organisation will launch a decisive battle as the Hindus are being subjected to atrocities during the riots and the police and administration are prompted by the government to take action against them.
It may be mentioned that curfew was clamped in the Kotwali area of Faizabad city recently following violence created by Muslims when Hindus took out their religious processions. Twenty four persons, including a sub-inspector, was injured in the violence. Several shops and vehicles were also torched. Trouble started when the idols of Goddess Durga were being taken in a procession for immersion. The devotees assembled at the Government Inter College with the idols of their localities and then proceeded to Guptar Ghat for immersion. As the procession was passing through the congested Rekabganj area, some devotees were attacked by the Muslims, who were also teasing the Hindu girls in the procession. The Muslims also hurled stones at the procession and damaged a Durga idol. The police had to fire teargas shells to disperse the warring mobs to control the situation. The communal strife later spread to the rural areas of Faizabad and reports of clashes were received from the fringe areas of Rudauli, Bharadsa, Sohawal and Harringtonganj. Finding the situation going out of control, the district administration ordered closure of all educational institutions and imposed curfew in the Kotwali area coverng almost the entire city. Interestingly, as seen elsewhere, the government initiated action against the innocent Hindu fraternity.
Alleging harassment of Hindus in the Samajwadi Party rule, Bharatiya Janata Party’s state president Laxmikant Bajpai said that his party workers were being persecuted in the present regime. “False criminal cases are being registered against BJP workers in Faizabad. Even the party’s legislator and members of the Nagar Palika Parishad have not been spared. BJP workers are being beaten up on the directions of the officials,” Bajpai told reporters. The BJP state president said that the recent communal tension in Faizabad was the result of Muslim lawlessness and government’s lack of control over these elements, but action was being taken against Hindu leaders. For example, in Rudauli, the police registered FIR against BJP legislator Ram Chandra Yadav, and over a dozen BJP workers were arrested from their houses. Some of them were in Lucknow when the communal tension started in the region. When they protested, they were beaten up in full public view. Bajpai said that when kanwarias were attacked in Bareilly, Hindus were put behind the bars and the same action was being repeated in Faizabad.
The state president said “Akhilesh Yadav should remember that he came to power not because of Muslim votes alone, Hindus had also voted in favour of the Samajwadi Party. However with an eye on Muslim votes in the run up to the Lok Sabha election, Akhilesh is trying to appease Muslims by harassing Hindus,” he said.
Stepping up its attack on the Akhilesh Yadav government, the Bharatiya Janata Party said that some members of the Muslim community were responsible for the communal clashes taking place across the state. The party chief also said that a campaign would be launched against the state government for its failure on all fronts, including law and order. “As for the worsening of law and order situation is concerned, the Samajwadi Party government has left the previous Mayawati regime far behind,” he said.
The BJP state chief said that during the 7-month rule of the Samajwadi Party government, the state had witnessed 1,068 murders, 205 rape incidents, 1,116 cases of loot and theft, 105 kidnappings and 716 cases of various type of crimes. “The policemen are forced to act as Samajwadi Party workers and if they resist they are victimised,” Bajpai said citing the case of a circle officer who has been suspended for accusing the Director General of Police and Bulandshahr’s district police chief of demanding bribe. “Instead of suspending the complainant, the government should have first removed the DGP and the SSP along with the complainant and then ordered a time-bound inquiry by any sitting judge of the High Court,” the BJP state chief said.
Bajpai said that some members of the Muslim community were responsible for the communal clashes as they had no fear or respect for the law of the land. “In the 7-month rule of the Samajwadi Party, 11 communal riots have taken place in nine districts and this shows the appeasement policy of the Samajwadi Party government is costing the state dearly,” Bajpai said. “Only FIRs are being registered but seldom has any arrest been made or chargeesheet filed against the culprits,” he added.
Launching a frontal attack on the Samajwadi Party government for “instigating” communal disharmony in the state, Bharatiya Janata Party’s senior leader and parliamentarian Lalji Tandon alleged that fanatics like Shahi Imam of New Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Maulana Ahmad Bukhari, were running the government through remote control. Tandon advised Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to build an image of unbiased and non-partisan administrator if he wanted to play a long political innings. The senior BJP leader and Lok Sabha member from Lucknow, who was denied permission by the administration to enter the Faizabad district, warned the SP government against victimisation of the majority community. “Victimisation of Hindus will not be tolerated anymore,” Tandon said while addressing a press conference. “It is well known that between Navratri and Dipawali various religious functions related to Lord Ram are held in the twin towns of Ayodhya and Faizabad but still the government did not make elaborate arrangements to maintain peace and now it has not given permission to take out Ram Barat,”. He added that due to the threats of the Maulana Bukhari, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had nominated Bukhari’s son-in-law to the Legislative Council and had given key posts to many of his close aides.” He also flayed the ruling party’s appeasement policy.
(To be concluded)