Stirring communal tensions

TAn NGO report has made a sensational disclosure that after the Samajwadi Party government was installed, many incidents of attack on a community took place in Uttar Pradesh, wherein the role of the police and the political action committee (PAC) has not been found to be neutral, and in fact, in some place their behaviour amounted to be patently anti-Muslim.

The report said that the riots took place in Kosi Kalan and Bareilly. The incidents of 17 August in Allahabad and Lucknow showed that youths were greatly disenchanted with the new government. The report said that the present government has done nothing to instill confidence in this community.

The enquiry report regarding the rape and murder of a Dalit girl in Aasthan village of Kunda tehsil in Pratapgarh, and, thereafter, well-organised atrocities and attacks on the members of Muslim minorities and their consequent migration from the village revealed the connivance of peoples’ representatives in the local administration and the police.

The report recently released by Justice Rajinder Sachar, revealed that the dead body of the raped and brutally murdered girl found on 21 June is a proof that the crime had been committed by ‘powerful people’ who had a ‘criminal bent of mind’.

Arson attacks on the houses of a minority on the night of 23 June was a premeditated act that had been organised with criminals who indulged in loot. Police was present on the spot but chose to do nothing and remain mere spectators. Throughout the attacks, the police made no effort to stop the arsonists.

The report further said that police and administration openly lend their helping hands to the visit of Thogadia of VHP for convening of his public meeting, amidst acts of arson and issuance of threats. The report maintained that a figure like Praveen Bhai Thogadia should not have been allowed to reach such a sensitive spot.

The role of the police and the kotedar in all these ghastly crimes is under grave suspicion. After the incident of rape and murder of the Dalit girl, the police went to the spot but delayed registering of FIR, and all this while they allowed the loot and arson of the houses of to go on, also overseeing Thogadia’s visit, where the police was present to offer the VHP leader protection. This clearly exposes connivance and concurrence of the police, according to Justice Sachar’s report. The report further pointed out that the Samajwadi Party leaders and the government have obviously used this incident to give it a communal colour and to spread communal hate between these communities. Thus, they have themselves pushed the relatively peaceful atmosphere of the village towards communal tension and riots. They have tried to incite the attack, though they could not be successful in their design.

The report also said that many innocent persons were put behind the bar and the nexus of SP leaders and local administration had frightened both the communities. In order to win over the support from the community, they have set in motion some leaders from outside and through these external political managers, they have granted the some compensation.

But nothing has been attempted to create an atmosphere in which both the communities may live in harmony and eke out a living. Fear of local strongmen has still not lessened. The report had demanded that the government should issue white paper on the attacks, especially the riots in Aasthaan and in other places.

The report has also demanded a judicial inquiry into the attack and rape of the girl and subsequent attacks on in the village. Judicial probe into the roles of MP Shailendra, MLAs Raghuraj Pratap Singh and Vinod Saroj, as well as the local kotedar Awadhesh Singh and local police officials has also been asked for. [IPA]
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