Muzaffarnagar violence claims 43 lives
Surendra Singhal from Deoband
Failure of bureaucracy and clear intention of the ruling Samajwadi Party to gain political mileage are reported to be the main reasons responsible for the recent violence, arson, tension and migration of some people in the Jat belt of Western Uttar Pradesh. But this situation has not emerged in just one day.
In fact, since past five-six months the police and administration have ignored the minor incidents and clashes that took place between the two communities. On the contrary they tried to bury them and undermine there influence. The tendency of the bureaucracy to delay the impartial solution to these local issues and attempts to resolve them in the interests of the ruling party resulted in escalating tensions within the communities, which in turn gave rise to communal polarisation in the area with great acceleration. This polarisation has now taken the form of the present communal conflicts and violent skirmishes. The intelligence agencies had done their job of alerting the administration about the serious consequences of the situation, but the political leadership and bureaucracy acting to its tune, just refused to be awakened from their slumber lest the situation assumed dangerous portents.
Cow slaughter, land disputes, illegal construction of religious places and other trivial disputes were allowed to precipitate by the administration. They did not even take steps to ease out the tension caused by such events. The Hindus realised that their leaders in Samajwadi Party and also their representatives were busy in nurturing Muslim interests for their political benefits and prove themselves helpless before the bureaucracy. They started distancing themselves from such leaders. The leaders in turn lost grip on their followers.
The situation worsened to such an extent that the ranks and files of Hindu organisations, political parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress had to come together to raise the demand for strict action against the miscreants responsible for spreading violence, arson and criminal acts at Deoband, Nagal, Gagalhedi, Behat, Rampur Maniharan, Sarsava, Nakud, Gangoh and Nanota in Saharanpur district; Shahpur PS, Jansat PS, Khatauli, Muzaffarnagar city in Muzaffarnagar district; and Kandhla, Kairana, Thana-bhavan and Shamli city in Shamli district. But the combined efforts of these three parties’ leaders could not yield the expected result from the bureaucracy. The role of Samajwadi Party workers, their infighting, and indiscipline were supposed to be responsible for making the bureaucracy insensitive.
In the 18 month rule of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the state witnessed dozens of violent clashes, gang rapes, increasing chain snatching incidents and so on. But the government failure to take punitive action against officers who neglected their duties towards public safety, time and again, made the common people feel insecure and helpless. When the BJP leaders raised the matter of gang rape in Shamli district and demanded action against the culprits who belonged to other community, they found themselves at the receiving end instead. They were made target by the police who arrested BJP Legislative Party leader Hukam Singh and manhandled MLA of Thanabhavan Suresh Rana. The transfer of incompetent police officer of Shamli SP Abdul Hamid was cancelled by the Chief Minister within 24 hours due to pressure from Maulana Azam Khan. Saharanpur SSP Durgacharan Mishra was promoted as DIG Saharanpur Range, while the competent officer like DIG Bhola Nath Singh was sent to some other department. Commissioner Sudhir Kumar was removed only after the riot escalated in Saharanpur. SSP Manjil Saini and District Magistrate Surendra Singh were transferred only after the August 27 incident of Kawal village. On that fateful day, two Hindu brothers were brutally killed for challenging an eveteaser Shahnawaz Qureshi who teased their sisters, while they were returning from college. Gaurav Malik, their brother, who was accompanying the girls challenged the Muslim youth over eve-teasing. Somehow they reached home. Gaurav told the incident to his cousin Sachin Malik and both came to settle the score with Muslim eve-teasers. In the melee Shahnawaz was killed. Upon this a strong mob of Muslims chased the two brothers, encircled them on the main road and killed them mutilating their faces and bodies. This sparked violence between the two communities.
The administration was compelled to remove SSP Subhash Chandra Dubey and bring in Pravin Kumar Sharma who served that area during Mayavati rule. Kaushal Raj Sharma, the relatively young and efficient administrator was brought in place of Surendra Singh. It is believed that these ‘strict’ moves were initiated after SP Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav adopted a stern posture on September 9. The Shamli SP Abdul Hamid, who is a known supporter of Azam Khan, was also removed following the tough stand of Mulayam Singh. In his place Anil Rai was brought in; while in Saharanpur Commissioner Bhubanesh Kumar and DIG Ashok Mutha Jain were appointed. Devendra Kumar Chaudhary, the fearless SP was immediately recalled at Saharanpur.
But the transfer of Meerut zone IG Bhavesh Kumar Singh was somewhat perplexing. He handled each and every incident of communal violence in his zone with utmost caution and acting with quickness and impartiality. His transfer created a sense of insecurity and frustration among the people of the region.
Clean and fearless IPS officers of the State like Arun Kumar, who is currently Additional DG Law and Order, probed the August 27 triple murder incident at Kawal and inferred that the record of involvement of Shahnawaz Qureshi’s father in the killing of Gaurav and Sachin Malik and that of six family members of the two Hindu boys in murder of Shahnawaz Qureshi were all forged. Their names have since been removed. It may be recalled that a Mahapanchayat was organised in connection of this incident at the Inter College of Nagla Mantod in Muzaffarnagar district on September 7. The convener of this Panchayat was Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait, while DM Kaushal Raj Sharma and SP Subhash Chand Dube had granted permission to the Mahapanchayat. BJP leader in Assembly Hukam Singh, Bijnaur MLA Kunwar Bhartendra Singh, BJP MLA of Thanabhavan Suresh Rana, and Sardhana Meerut MLA Sangeet Som, BKU leader Naresh Tikait were prominently present at the Mahapanchayat that was organised to save the honour of daughters and sisters.
When people were proceeding to participate in the Mahapanchayat they were stoned at village Basikalan under Shahpur PS. But the administration ignored it. One youth of Kandhla village of Shamali was beaten to death. Instead of arresting the culprits the police maintained that he was killed in an accident. This inaction on part of the cops had echoed deep inside the villagers. When the people were returning from Mahapanchayat they were attacked by the waiting mobs. In this violent attack many innocent lives perished. Violence spread to other areas of the region including entire district of Muzaffarnagar, and rural areas of Shamali, Meerut, and Baghpat. After the August 27 Kawal incident ADG Law and Order Arun Kumar visited the affected area followed by DGP Devraj Nagar but both of them failed to assure the people of affected areas of their safety and security. It has been roughly estimated that nearly 50 people have been killed in the violence besides damage to property worth crores of rupees. The responsibility to establish peace and tranquility was restored to the army and paramilitary troops.
Love Jehad causing unrest across nation—Ashok Singhal
VHP patron Shri Ashok Singhal said until there is effective control over the love jehad there cannot be peace in the country as the people are not ready to tolerate it anymore. “A lesson to be learnt from all these incidents is that a legal ban on Love Jihadis needs to be imposed and the law strictly followed and also the murderer Love Jihadis involved in these incidents given exemplary punishment, otherwise the self-respecting Hindu, even if unwillingly, will have to take the responsibility of self-protection into his/her own hands, which would be a matter of shame and suicidal for a government formed under systems of law and constitution,” Shri Singhal said while talking to mediapersons in New Delhi on September 11.
He said when the society could no longer bear the ‘Love Jihadists’ outraging the modesty and dignity of Hindu women and girls in rural and urban areas of UP the corrective movement in the form of the “Bahu. Beti Bachao Mahapanchayat” came into being. He said when the Love Jihadis found themselves to be above the law it compelled the Hindu society to stand on its own feet to safeguard itself. These godless lust Jihadis donning the garb of Muslim religion as a major weapon have, for the last half a century, been targeting the Hindu girls, women, girl students. A solution to these riots has to be found in this context only. He said the people have lost all confidence in Akhilesh Singh Government, he added.