Skip to main content

Aurangabad communal clashes: Would Fadnavis deviate from the course already charted by his mentors in Nagpur?

By Adv Masood Peshimam
Riots in our country are routine. The allegedly partisan role of the police is routine. Delegates of different hue and colour feverishly rushing to the concerned authorities is routine. Authorities assuring that the guilty would not be spared is routine. Concerned authorities promising to set up inquiry committee to probe the multiple reasons contributing to the growth of communal violence is routine. No consequent follow up is also routine. On top of it the guilty remaining immune from punishment many a time, particularly the law enforcers, too, is routine.
Following the recent outbreak of communal violence in Aurangabad in Maharashtra, there have been allegations of police supporting the violent crowd to target Muslims, with the administration failing to take preventive measure to halt the drift in the law and order situation. There are allegations of indiscriminate arrest of innocent Muslims.
Against this murky scenario Muslim MLAs had an audience with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis at his Varsha Bungalow in Mumbai. The Muslim MLAs termed the occurrence of communal violence as part of larger conspiracy. They presented video clips and other material showing the alleged culpability of the police in supporting the rioters. They explained to Fadnavis the failure of the law enforcing machinery to take corrective measures to nib the growing trouble in the bud well in time.
It is good to note that the Maharashtra CM gave an instant ear to the MLAs. He assured that a committee would be formed to probe the pros and cons of the communal trouble in Aurangabad headed by Additional DIG Law & Order Bipin Bihari. The CM vociferously stated that the guilty would not be spared.
On the occasion, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA said that the evidence presented shows that the police appears to have sided with the rioters in targeting Muslims. MLA Imtiaz Jalil said that he saluted 98% police for its good performance and blamed only 2% police which has tarnished the image of the entire police force.
It is not clear how the 2% police prevailed upon 98% police force to allegedly damage the prospect of peace. Jalil owes an explanation for this. The MIM MLA needs to explain what has 98% police force has done to prevent the spread of communal narrative, thus exacerbating the situation.
Another Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi, sharing the concern of innocent Muslims, demanded their immediate release. He said that Lachchu Phelwan had threatened Muslims to forcibly close shops, and despite compliance, no action was initiated against the accused. Others who met the CM were Waris Pathan, Amin Patel and Asif Shaikh.
Fadnavis assured the delegates to undo the injustice with the promise that those mishandling the situation would not escape the punishment. So far so good, but the question is, would Fadnavis deviate from the course already charted by his mentors in Nagpur? Would his pronouncements match with action, which amounts to curbing the hawkish communal forces in the state? Would he act against divisive agenda sparking Aurangabad?
Time alone would show the credibility or otherwise of the promises made by the CM. If history is any guide, no seriousness is shown to restrain aggressive communal forces. It’s the absence of the genuine action on the part of the authorities which has culminated in to the scenario which has witnessed the rise in the occurrence of communal violence at a regular interval.
The MLAs visiting Fadnavis is welcome, but what prevented them including the non-Muslim MLAs and other luminaries and intellectuals? The induction of non-Muslims in the delegation would have helped in securing the secular tone and tenor. What has prevented the Muslim MLAs like Amin Patel and Aslam Shaikh of Congress to rope in the eminent Congress MP Milind Deora and others, as these MLAs leave no stone unturned to promote the electoral fortunes of the Congress?
In their protest they should have contacted Mumbra MLA Jitendra Ahward in the team to test the waters. Jitendra Ahward has the huge impact in Mumbra and his regular victory explains that people’s enthusiasm has not turned into disillusionment.
The induction of non-Muslim luminaries would have given more leverage, and more seriousness would have factored in the presentation of grievances. A delegation with different shades would have made government more accountable. Otherwise, the outcome of such meeting is the display of photo with the CM in the Urdu media, and the situation remains grim.
Meanwhile, at the press conference held in Aurangabad, Irfan Engineer, NIhal Dhabade, Siddihi Pendke, Adv Abhay Taksal, Budddah Priya Kabir and Ashfaque Salami blamed extortion and role of Shiv Sena with an eye on future election, and an effort to inculcate the feeling among Hindus that Shiv Sena is only the guardian of their interest, and Shiv Sena can save Hindus from Muslim onslaught. Attached with the Centre for Study of Society & Secularism, they accused Shiv Sena of inciting the violence in Aurangabad. They visited Aurangabad on a Fact Finding Team mission.
There was also Bhima Koregaon Fact Finding Team, which equally blamed the police siding with one community. The Bhima Koregaon Fact Finding Committee desired the arrest of MP Chandrakant Khare for his alleged role in the Aurangabad communal violence.
Earlier, some other delegates met top Police Officials with CCTV footage showing the police supporting the alleged miscreants. Some in the police doubted the authenticity of the CCTV footage. The evidence relating to electronic record is referred in section 65-A of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 which says that the contents of electronic records may be proved in accordance with the provisions of section 65B. CCTV footage has helped in cracking many criminal cases, and it has facilitated in achieving breakthrough in the process of investigation.

Comments

TRENDING

132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).