On Friday, BJP MLA Sangeet Som lead a rally to Kairana, where prohibitory orders are in place, reported NDTV. Atul Pradhan of the Samajwadi Party also led a similar rally. Both politicians, the report added, did not have permission to hold the rallies and were stopped.
Som, who led the ‘Nirbhay’ yatra was stopped around two km from his parliamentary constituency Sardana. Pradhan’s ‘Sadhbhavna‘ rally saw 500 people who set out from Meerut to Kairana. Som then issued an ultimatum to the UP government and asked it to ensure that people who migrated were brought back.
On Thursday, the Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya said that besides the problem of law and order, it was the terror faced by a section of the society, which led to the alleged Hindu migration in Kairana.
He also said that the district administration failed to check migration because of “government pressure” and that the report of the probe team sent by BJP to conduct an on-the-spot assessment of the large scale migration will be handed over to Governor Ram Naik on Friday.
The Indian Express quoted the Meerut District Collector Pankaj Yadav as saying that the police and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) were stationed in heavy numbers while Section 144 of the CrPC was in force so as to ensure law and order. It added that all entrances to Kairana had been sealed and that any yatra without permission will not be allowed.
Even as the BJP team reached the UP Governor Ram Naik’s residence to submit the party’s Kairana probe, reported News18, Congress will send a three-member probe team to Kairana on 19 June.
Sangeet Som was arrested in 2013 for his alleged role in inciting communal violence at Muzaffarnagar and for allegedly spreading inflammatory videos during the riots that left more than 60 people dead. The MLA was accused of uploading a fake video that played a role in provoking communal tension in Muzaffarnagar in September, and was arrested in Meerut on 21 September. He was later released on bail.
Earlier, it was reported that more than 250 families in Kairana left their homes since 2014 fearing criminals who enjoy “political patronage”. Following this, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP) of the state. The NHRC observed that the allegations made were serious in nature. It also directed the state’s DIG (Investigation) to depute a team of officers for a spot inquiry in the matter covering all the allegations made in the complaint and submit a report within two weeks.
BJP president Amit Shah said that an atmosphere of violence was prevailing in Uttar Pradesh, citing the incidents at Kairana and Mathura. Meanwhile, Ravi Shankar Prasad, during a press conference in Allahabad on Sunday, said that despite the issue being serious, the state government was not taking any action.
BJP MP Hukum Singh estimated the number of communal killings in the town at 10 for the last three years and called it the “new Kashmir”. He also came out with a list containing details of more than 250 families (the list puts it at 346) who left their homes. He then met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh seeking an intervention in the matter.
Even as authorities in UP were getting anxious about communal tension in Kairana, Hukum Singh took a massive U-turn. On 14 June, the BJP leader — who was also one of the accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots — said that the exodus of people from Kairana was “not communal” in nature but was rather connected with the poor law and order situation in the region.
The Wire, in a report, mentioned that Muslim families (150 families) too left Kairana over a long period of time in search of safe pastures.
The question to ask is: Does Som’s yatra include a fight to bring back the migrated Muslim families as well? Or is this the BJP’s efforts to polarise the votes in Uttar Pradesh, where Assembly elections will take place in 2017, as pointed out by Ambikanand Sahay in this article.
Mayawati also added that the yatras planned by the BJP and SP smacked of an “understanding” between the two parties to malign the communal atmosphere and reap political benefits by instigating riots. “The main aim of these yatras is to somehow vitiate the communal atmosphere in the state, instigate Hindu-Muslim riots and reap political and electoral benefits…this needs to be condemned by all,” said the former UP chief minister.
The BSP chief said that the SP government had forgotten its “sarkari dharma” (principles of a government) and was surprisingly not taking any action against anti-social elements and those fomenting communalism.
She also attacked the state government for suspending Gorakhpur SSP Anant Dev saying the only fault of the police officer was that his force had tried to check “goondagardi and high-handedness” of an SP leader.
With inputs from PTI