Heavy stone pelting on Kanwadiyas by Muslim fanatics in Bareilly on Shiv Ratri Day and denial of permission by local administration to ITBP for searching the roofs of the attackers underline the fact that the government apparatus in UP still avoids action against the fanatics
This Shiv Ratri witnessed attacks on Shivbhakt Kanwadiyas at three places in Uttar Pradesh by Muslim mobs—two in Bareilly District and one in Badaun. While all sermons on tolerance from umpteen secular quarters are being directed towards the Hindus, none dared raise a finger against the recalcitrant hotheads in Muslim society (and they are in quite a good number) for the violence they perpetrated on groups of peaceful Hindu pilgrims on one of their most popular devotional festivals.
Trouble at Village Khailam
The major incident of violence engineered by Muslim fanatics took place at Village Khailam under Aliganj Police Station in Aonla tehsil. It is a Muslim-majority village with a Muslim woman as Gram Pradhan. Here on Shiv Ratri Day i.e. July 21, hundreds of Kanwadiyas offered gangajal in Gauri Shankar Temple and then proceeded to their homes. Most of them belonged to nearby villages, but some also hailed from Khailam itself. As they began passing through the main street of the village, a mob of Muslims, reportedly led by the husband of Gram Pradhan, stopped them. They were adamant not to allow them through. The Kanwadiyas had no other go but to sit in dharna just outside. Police came in. In the beginning, they tried to persuade them to take some bypass route, which was obviously a giving-in to the Muslim fanaticism. After hours of negotiations, it was decided that they will be ‘allowed’ to pass through the public thoroughfare inside the village on the condition that they will not play DJs. But as, after hours of wait, the Kanwadiyas, along with police and administrative personnel, started walking silently and peacefully inside, there was heavy stoning from rooftops that injured many Kanwadiyas as well as the SDM and about 12 policemen. All of them halted their march. Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) was called in. It asked for permission to go to the rooftops so as to apprehend the miscreants. But the administration refused. Ultimately, under heavy security arrangements made by the ITBP, the Kanwadiyas could get through.
The stoning from rooftops was reportedly so massive as to drive scores of Kanwadiyas into nearby jungle, farms and other places. Even 60 Hindu families of Khailam also ran for safety to Visharadganj, a nearby village. It only shows that stones in large quantities were stored on roofs of Muslim houses under a pre-planned conspiracy. Had the ITBP been allowed to search, many conspirators and their cohorts would have been arrested on the spot.
The Rajpura Incident
Another attempt by bigoted Muslims to stop Kanwadiyas on Shiv Ratri has been reported from Rajpura Village under Baheri tehsil. Here about 50-60 Kanwadiyas were going to Haridwar to fetch gangajal. They hailed from Rajpura, Nawayal, Narayan Nagla, Mirjapur and Aurangabad villages. Here too a Muslim mob stopped them. The Circle Officer and SDM of Baheri descended upon the scene only trying to make the Kanwadiyas take to some detour. They succeeded in compelling them through the good offices of the local BJP MLA Chhatrapal Gangwar. Kanwadiyas went away to Haridwar by a bypass cursing the administration for the unreasonable appeasement exhibited towards Muslim intransigence.
The Badaun Incident
There was an uproarious scene created inside Badaun city on Shiv Ratri Day by three Muslim hooligans. They, in an inebriated state, riding a bike, forced their entry into part of road kept reserved by the police for Kanwadiyas. They shouted filth at them. They also had scuffle with the police. But fortunately, before any major untoward incident could take place, the three were taken into custody.
Shunning legal action, resorting to appeasement Khailam and Rajpura incidents go to underline the fact that the government apparatus in UP avoids legal action and prefer a policy of placating or appeasement in relation to fanatical elements in Muslim community. This is a hangover of past three governments lasting 15 years in the state. Old habits die hard.
According to Ashok Vaish, in-charge of Vishva Samvad Kendra, a media-related outfit in Bareilly, even after a change in Lucknow, there is no perceptible difference in the approach of the police and administrative authorities when it comes to dealing with minority communalism. They duck before its pressure, try to bend the other community as per the whims of the minority community, howsoever unjust that might appear. He said most of the government officials are the same old faces as ruling under the previous regime known for unabashed appeasement.
Enquiry to be conducted says Irrigation Minister
The Irrigation Minister of UP Dharm Pal Singh, who also happens to be the local MLA of the constituency containing Khailam, says that an enquiry would be conducted into the whole incident and no official would be spared if found guilty of dereliction of duty. He said nobody has the right to obstruct public thoroughfare. According to him, Khailam has a single road that leads to six other villages outside. The residents of Khailam enjoy no privilege to restrict anybody’s right to use it. He admits that police and administrative officers have shown lapses in dealing with the situation on Shiv Ratri. “The Chief Minister has himself taken cognizance of it, and soon an enquiry will be ordered,” he avers.