Skip to main content

Normalcy eludes Kasganj, fear high among communities, as UP administration "harassing" minorities: NAPM

By Our Representative
A fact-finding team of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), the apex body of tens of grassroots organizations across India, has found that in Uttar Pradesh's Kasganj town, which saw communal clashes on the Republic Day, "an atmosphere of gloom" prevails even today. Birthplace of Amir Khusroe and Tulsidas, Kasganj's "normal lives are disrupted", the NAPM said in its report released on February 5.
Those who were on fact-finding mission on February 2-3 included Vimal Bhai, NAPM's national convener (Uttarakhand), Sudha, Afroze Jahan (from UP) and Rishit Neogi (Delhi), observing, possible, "The situation still remains tense. There is an atmosphere of tension and fear in the communities."
Pointing out that Uttar Pradesh was being turned into the next laboratory of Hindutva, the report said, Kasganj, which is two hours drive from Aligarh, saw riots following a Tiranga bike rally consisting 60-65 bikes "forcefully" trying to "pass through the narrow lanes of Buddoonagar."
A pre-dominantly Muslim area, a flag-hoisting ceremony was on at its Shaheed Hamid Chowk exactly then. "The bikers demanded the entire setup consisting of the tricolour, chairs and a small stage/microphone to be removed and make way for the rally to pass", the report said.
When the residents asked the bikers to take another diversion, as it was an annual affair and the programme would be soon concluded, the bikers initiated "heated arguments" raising "communally charged slogans like ‘Bharat mein rehna hoga to vande mataram kehna hoga’ and allegedly tried to raise saffron flags in the area."
Altercations followed and the bikers left Buddoonagar without their bikes. Elsewhere in the town, things became tense after a bullet killed a young Hindu boy Chandan Gupta. This subsequently raised the tension and mobilisations leading up to imposition of curfew and deployment of security forces across town, leading to complete shutdown of the town, the report said.
Pointing towards the type of insecurity prevailing in the town, the report said, "The team met Naushad, a 33-year-old labourer from Kasganj at the Aligarh Muslim University hospital general ward. Naushad carries marble slabs on his back for a living. He was shot in his thigh in the riot, and a bullet passed through his thighs. Till now, no one from the police, administration or government has met Naushad or offered any help or compensation."
The team found that many youngsters from Buddoonagar "were picked up by the police on charges ranging from murder, rioting to disturbing peace. Their friends and relatives claim they are innocent. Such was the tale of Rashid who was arrested along with his father and brother and later released arbitrarily with charges of Sec 151. Their phones were snatched during the operation and never returned."
The report said, "In the riot, lasting for three days, around 45 shops belonging to Muslims were set on fire. Many mosques were vandalized. A prominent business owner along with his family members, who owns one of the few profitable enterprises belonging to people from the Muslim community, has been arrested on serious charges of having conspired the riots."
Pointing out that despite a peace meeting called by the DG – Law & Order in the Nagar Palika Hall on January 29, where assurances of normal life were given, the report said, shopkeepers continued to be "harassed/arrested when they tried to go back to their shops".
It added, "Whereas predominantly Muslim areas were cordoned off with heavy security, elsewhere in the city, prominent small and medium Muslim businesses existing in main markets were allowed to burn. There was no effort by the administration to offer any real security or relief to quell the fear and paranoia of the citizens."
Noting that till date "there has been no action taken for stopping rumours and Facebook - WhatsApp hate messages", the report especially regretted, "The pronouncements of the Kasganj MP Raju Bhaiya from BJP openly calling for ‘blood for blood’ further created fear and hatred."
Demanding "a judicial commission to ensure fair inquiry into the January 26 incident leading to the murder of Chandan Gupta, and causing injuries to several others, arson and loot, burning of shops, damage to property and attack on mosques etc.", the team insisted, "Police should immediately register FIRs against perpetrators of violence without showing any prejudice to any community".

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.