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Muzaffarnagar riots Gujarat strategy used, says Mistry

Updated: September 28, 2013 5:04 pm

Congress Uttar Pradesh elections incharge, Madhusudan Mistry has alleged that the BJP has used its old strategy, which it has been using successfully in Gujarat, to incite communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and the Samajwadi Party was hand in glove with it. He has alleged that the two parties jointly ignited the riots, which had started off due to personal animosity between the familes, followed by killing of three men who had allegedly spoken out when a woman was being harassed late in August. The boy and girl hailed from different communities. Both the BJP and the SP saw it as a good opportunity to indulge in politics of polarisation of votes on communal lines.

Mistry, who himself hails from Gujarat and was recently appointed as incharge of UP to oversee the 2014 general elections, said that in Modi’s Gujarat personal rivalries between two communities have always been used to give the colour of communal rivalries. He said that the modus operandi is to let the issue linger and slowly flare up into a communal riot. Mistry said he was fearing that the BJP, which has Modi’s aide Amit Shah heading the UP election cell, might use the same module in UP too and sadly enough his fears did come through.

Charging the SP government with the grave criminal offence of inaction, resulting in 39 deaths and scores injured, including children and women, Mistry said the recent naked political dance over dead bodies has been nauseating.

“If the government could succeed in stopping the 84 Kosi Yatra, why was it sleeping when there were indication of simmering discontent in the area from August 27?” asked the Congress leader.

Wishing for the situation to return to normalcy soon, Mistry said that he only hoped that the UP government does not indulge in what is done in Gujarat, i.e. further stirring up communal emotions by publically parading the bodies of riot victims.

Stressing that nothing much was being done for the victims’ kin, Mistry said that it is important that the faith of the people in the district adminstration is restored and that neither of the communities feel that they are being discriminated against. He urged the SP government to shun the policy of appeasement at this critical hour and said that any government which uses one community against the other is not likely to last for long.

Urging the state government to immediately stop this vote-bank politics tactics, Mistry said that the prime duty of the government at this point shopuld be to restore peace and normalcy and to realise that the public is not so naïve now and cannot be hoodwinked into believing what is not true.

To the question as to why former Congress MP, Harendra Malik participated in the Jat panchayat, the Congress state chief Nirmal Khatri said that Mr Malik was just a participant and that he did not make any inflmmatory speech at the function.

Meanwhile, the state president of the BJP, Dr Laxmikant Bajpai hotly denied that the BJP had anything at all to do with the Muzaffarnagar riots. He denied the allegation that a video posted online instigated the violence which resulted in so many deaths and violence. The video, which apparently turned out to be fake and was blocked by the police, showed men being lynched to death in Kawal, the village where the three men were killed earlier.

“Ulta choor kotwal ko datey” (case of a thief scolding the policeman) seems to be the case. These riots are the doing of the SP government and have been done to polorise Muslim votes for the coming 2014 general elections,” said the BJP leader. He charged the SP government with purposefully looking the other way and letting the entire thing turn into a major riot.

“The region has a social fabric where women harassment cases abound and which can take an ugly turn. But in this case, it was purposefully allowed to become the basis of a major communal riot,” said Bajpai.

Alleging that the district adminstration was asked to look the other way, Bajpai said that if the Akhilesh Yadav government could put so much force to prevent harmless sadhus from taking out a purely religious 84 Kosi Yatra, why could it not control the situation in Muzaffarnagar with the same force?

The police has booked BJP leader Hukum Singh, BJP state legislator Sangeet Som, MLAs Suresh Rana and Bhartendu for violating prohibitory orders and participating in the meeting and making speeches which incited people. However, Bajpai denied that the BJP leaders had made any speeches that incited communal feelings in the crowd. He said that they had been invited there and as public representatives it was their duty to accept the invitation. He said if it was legal to hold the panchayat meeting, surely it was legal to participate in it.

Incidentally, the session of this Hindu Mahapanchayat had been called to demand justice over the killing of three men who had allegedly spoken out when a woman was being harassed late in August in Kanwal village. Bajpai demanded to know why was the meeting allowed to be held in Muzaffarnagar when Section 144 was in force?

“They had intelligence alerts about the possibility of communal flare-up but the SP government chose to ignore it all because they had another game plan,” said Bajpai. He also wanted to know what arrangements the district administration had made to ensure that no untoward incident happened. “Did they not know that there could be trouble when the people returned after the meeting, as they would pass through the houses of the minority community on the way?” asked Bajpai.

By Kulsum Mustafa from Lucknow

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