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09 November 2012

Uttar Pradesh Riots: Time to act, Mr. Chief Minister

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By Mohammad Shahid Parvez

Lucknow: After Faizabad where? This is the question the people, after witnessing on an
average one riot every month in the state, often ask. Faizabad was the last in the series so far where the administration slept while the town burnt. A minor incident of stone pelting during the immersion of Durga idols escalated into full-fledged riot engulfing not only the Faizabad town but the nearby Rudauli and Bhadrasa and heat of which was felt in the nearby districts of Barabanki and Gorakhpur. The trouble started in the evening and the hooligans took the town under siege torching shops belonging to Muslims in the presence of police in Chowk and Ghosiana areas of the city as also in Rudauli and Bhadrasa throughout the night. The apathy of police and fire brigade resulted in the fire turning into an inferno that could be extinguished only after the army was called in. It was only after 12 hours when the rioters had accomplished their ‘mission destruction’ that the administration woke up to clamp curfew in the area.

A series of communal riots (on an average one major riot every month) ever since the
Samajwadi Party Government took reins of power in the state and the administration’s failure to contain them smacks of some deep-rooted conspiracy to flare up communal tension in the state. In all the riots from Kosi Kalan in Mathura, Bareilly to Pratapgarh and Faizabad a similar pattern is noticed-- minor arguments turning into major riots due to criminal inaction on the part of police. Almost everywhere organized mobs attacked Muslims unafraid of the administrative machinery and at some places the police either allowed the culprits or even helped them in attacking the members of the minority community and their properties. The same thing happened in Faizabad also. That is why a team of Jamiatul Ulamae Hind after visiting the riot hit town said that the riots were a conspiracy to destroy Muslims. In its report the team said that the hooligans looted and then set afire Muslims’ shops in the presence of police.

The fact that riots in Faizabad as elsewhere were not spontaneous but preplanned is gauged from the fact that the police intelligence and Intelligence Bureau had in their reports had expressed fear that some untoward incident may take place on the occasion of Durga immersion in Faizabad but the warning was ignored by the authorities for reasons best known to them. Again a ban order under section 144 was underway in Faizabad in view of the festival season and still the rioters indulged in arson and violence and police could not check them raises doubt about the integrity of the police force.

The way the forces behind the riots act and create trouble at will gives an impression that there is no rule of law in the land. The Chief Minister, Mr. Akhilesh Yadav awakens after every riot to suspend a few district officials and warn the perpetrators of violence of stringent action. But the Chief Minister never got time to visit any of the troubled places to console the victims and send out strong message to the culprits that he actually means what he says. The Chief Minister says that the main objective of perpetrators are to divert public attention from welfare schemes launched by him and malign his Government. But does that in any way lessens the Government responsibility to bring those elements to book and prevent recurrence of the riots? Once in a different context a senior IPS officer told this correspondent that a district police chief, if he wishes so, knows where even a pin falls in his jurisdiction. Applying the same yardstick how the head of the state armed with high level intelligence and an army of administrative and police officials can be unaware of the forces behind these riots that are recurring at regular intervals?

What is preventing the Government from taking action against the masterminds behind these riots? Is it lack of will to act or attempt to shield some high and mighty? Akhilesh says he will expose the faces behind the conspiracy to vitiate the communal atmosphere. But when that will happen? How many more riots will it take the Chief Minister to expose these faces?

The time is running out for the Akhilesh. Questions are being raised over the handling or rather mishandling of the situation by his Government. This is time for the Chief Minister to act and see to it that communal forces do not succeed in their design to flare up communal tension in future.

To achieve this goal, the Government must first bring to book those behind Faizabad and other riots thereby giving strong message that it would not tolerate any communal eruption and take stringent action irrespective of persons and parties involved. Officers with neat and clean and secular image should be posted in key positions especially in districts and peace committees should be revived. The suggestion of the former DGP of UP Prakash Singh that anti-riot schemes need to be updated, police should refine its riot control measures and modernize its gear may also be of some help.

With Diwali, Muharram and Eid-e-Miladun Nabi lined up one after the other the time ahead is crucial. Communal elements may try to polarize the state on communal lines to gain political mileage in view of the forthcoming Parliamentary polls. In such a situation unless the Government ensures a harmonious peaceful atmosphere its credibility will be eroded which may prove inimical to its interest in the election.

[Mohammad Shahid Parvez is former News Editor, National Herald, Lucknow. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Uttar Pradesh). He can be contacted at mshahidparvez@gmail.com]

1 comment:

  1. stone pelting and r@@ping in barassat, peeing in temple is minor incident???ya right...killing in merrut- throwing severed parts of animals in temples r small incidents , muslims killing many hindu leaders in tamilnad,kerala is small incident....abusing the country alll then -even AFTER partition...call to finish off others r small incident....burning them smalll incidents---even when govt protects u all the time hiding ur names like Moha...afroz...than..a country having most mosques in world...(that too most of them stripped temples)...giving away free HAz or whatever that is.....in lucknow after every festival stone pelting is normal-----what if this normalcy is given back to u--how normal would that be??? all of criminal situation in bombay is bcoz of ur type names?? in fact in alll the world??? ever counted no. of ppl in history....

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