Congress, SP protecting the rioters
One-sided action of Congress, SP regimes agitates the Hindu victims
Surendra Singhal in Deoband
For the first time in the history of Independent India, the inhabitants of the Jat belt of Western Uttar Pradesh, which is known for its ‘Ganga-Jamuni Tehjeeb’ (composite culture), have been forced to abandon their hearths and homes and take shelter in the temporary relief camps following the last one week of uncontrolled communal violence, tensions, and migration of people. The irony is these hapless Hindus find today themselves as victims of the neglect by the UPA Government at the Centre and the SP Government in Lucknow. They are facing the one sided actions of the State Government.
Congress, SP and other secular parties have consoled the Muslim victims of this violence but did not care to apply healing balm to the Hindu victims. Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts are known for their highest revenue contribution to the State exchequer. Even then, failure of administration and criminal neglect by none other than the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandhi besides UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has shattered all the hopes of the Hindu victims of this violence. None of these leaders cared to console them and sympathise with them in their hour of distress.
The Hindu victims of the communal violence were eagerly waiting to share their woes with the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on September 15 when he was scheduled to visit Muzaffarnagar, but they only waited in vain. The same attitude of neglect was visible the very next day when Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi, and Rahul Gandhi paid a visit to this riot-torn area as part of their ‘secular tourism’ on September 16. They only talked to the Muslims, wiped their tears and consoled them before leaving for New Delhi. They did not feel it proper to visit the Hindu victims and listen to their woes dashing all the hopes the family members of the victims had.
It is astonishing that the administration had granted permission to SP and Congress leaders to freely move in the violence-hit areas of Muzaffarnagar. These leaders only highlighted the wrongs done to Muslims and held the Hindus responsible for this violence. They also propagated that the Muslims had suffered losses to their life and properties. On the other hand the BJP leaders have alleged that their senior leaders were denied permission to visit the affected areas only because of the fear of the truth behind this violence getting exposed in the public domain. Media too, confined itself to projecting the one sided story of the violence.
Former UP Cooperative Minister and leader of the Baliyan Khap of the Jats Sudhir Baliyan toured intensively the riot-hit areas and talked to the affected persons. He told this correspondent that a group of heavily armed Muslims attacked the Hindus returning from Mahapanchayat on September 17 near Jauli Ganganahar killing over a dozen and seriously injuring the equal number of Hindus. After the incident 16 half burnt tractor trolleys and six bikes were recovered from the site.
Over 300 affected people belonging to Dalit, Prajapati and Kashyap sections have taken refuge at Ravidas Mandir situated at Kamalpur Village. They were neither provided any relief material or health facility from the administration. These refugees nursed the grudge that the top leaders of the Centre and State governments reached Busikalan to talk to affected people but neglected those who had sought refuge at Ravidas Mandir of Kamalpur situated at a distance of just three kms from Busikalan.
The affected people from Shahpur, Palda, Basikalan, Sikeda, and Kawal villages have taken shelter in this camp and could not muster enough courage to return to their homes surrounded by Muslim majority. Sunil, one of the inmates of the camp blames the SP-Congress for vying with each other for the Muslim vote-bank. Lata, resident of Basikalan now staying in this camp complained that Prime Minister and Chief Minister went to Basikalan to know the situation of the Muslims but they did not bother to get information about the Hindus of the same village. Why they were forced to leave their villages and homes. Vijaypal, Mithilesh and Sanjay felt that these secular leaders were all at appeasing the Muslims and bag the credit for themselves by neglecting the Hindus.
Shankutala Devi, widow of Sohan Vir, resident of Bhokar Hedi village who was killed in Jolly Gangaahar attack expecting PM and CM to visit her. But she was disappointed as both failed to visit her and console her. Rajbala, mother of Ajay, resident of Rahmatpur, who was also killed, had the same story to tell. Jagwati, widow of Brijpal Singh Rana, and her four daughters—Pratibha, Seema, Bhavna, Shikha and son Luv have the same grudge against the government and administration for neglecting them.
National President of the Bharatiya Kisan Union Naresh Tikait expressed his strong displeasure about the Jats being unnecessarily blamed for the violence. He said that the PM and CM belonged to all people and for them all are equal. But here they just felt it right to talk to Muslim victims and neglect the Hindus. Chaudhary Baba Harkishan Singh of Mathwala Khap of the Jats also was dismayed at the partial attitude and partisan approach of the government.
RLD MP from Bijnaur Sanjay Chauhan squarely blamed the administration for Muzaffarnagar riots. The way administration acted under pressure from the government only added to further deterioration of the situation. He alleged that all the leaders who visited the affected areas only talked to those belonging to their clan and religion and neglected the others. This partisan attitude has further widened the gap between the two communities.
Hukum Singh, BJP MLA, who is being blamed for inciting riots by the SP, accused the government and administration for the riots. He accused the Akhilesh Yadav Government for falsely implicating the BJP in the riots to cover up his inefficiency. He said that people can be pursued not to organise Panchayat but added that the situation can worsen following the Friday meeting. The DM and SSP shared the dais during the meeting sending the wrong signal.
Sangeet Som, another BJP MLA from Sardhana who is also under scanner for riots said that the Government claim of development was hollow and hypocrisy. He alleged that State Minister Azam Khan was the main culprit of the riots. He should be arrested on priority for this violence. He blamed the State government for wrongly implicating the BJP leaders for these riots. He also rejected the insinuation that he gave an inflamatory speech at the Mahapanchayat. BJP MLA from Thana Bhavan Suresh Rana and Kunwar Bhartendra Singh of Bijnaur alleged that the situation worsened because of the one sided and partisan attitude of the government and the administration. He demanded to arrest the true culprits of the riots.
Prominent BJP leader of Muzaffarnagar Sanjay Agrawal who was incarcerated for a long period as preventive measure, said that the competition between SP-BSP to pocket the Muslim votes was the fundamental reason of this tragedy. He held BSP Mirpur MLA Maulana Jameel Ahmed, BSP MP Kadir Rana, Congress leaders and former Minister of State for Home Saidujjama and SP State Secretary Rashid Siddiqi for spreading hatred in their inflammatory speeches which led to riots. They should be arrested and jailed for this, he demanded.
Senior BJP leader Uma Bharati was arrested on September 17 in Muzaffarngar amid high drama. Immediately after the arrest she asked police why Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were allowed to visit Muzaffarnagar.
The BJP leader tried to go to the house of journalist Rajesh Verma, one of the victims of the communal violence, when she ran into a police contingent who told her not to proceed further. The furious legislator asked the policemen why the Gandhis were let into Muzaffarnagar if there was a bar on politicians’ entry. She was not satisfied when police told her that the Gandhis were part of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s convoy.
Uma Bharati then staged a sit-in after which police arrested her. But as police tried to take her away, hundreds of BJP workers reached the spot and raised anti-government slogans. Uma Bharati accused the Uttar Pradesh Government of failing to ensure safety to the people of the State.
Secular tourism on communal riots
Bharatiya Janata Party termed the visit of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi to the violence-hit Muzaffarnagar district as nothing but ‘secular tourism on communal riots’. “The wounds of the people cannot be healed by doing this. It is completely secular tourism on communal riots and nothing else,” said BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in Delhi. He said whatever the Prime Minister has said is of no use, as people want action and not words.”When BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad and leaders of other political parties wanted to visit Muzaffarnagar they were stopped, but Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi can visit, he said.