, by DR. S. AUSAF SAIED VASFI
DR. S. AUSAF SAIED VASFI analyses the recent communal flare-ups in Bharatpur, Rudrapur and Pratapgarh, and throws considerable light on the Saffron modus operandi in these serial riots, which have in fact come to haunt the nation after years of serial blasts.
Close at the heels of Bharatpur in the Congress-led Rajasthan came Rudrapur in the BJP-ruled Uttarakhand followed by Pratapgarh in the BSP-led Uttar Pradesh. At all the three places, the Muslim minority suffered heavily. At all the three places, the local intelligence apparatus failed to anticipate the tragedies. At all the three places, the police used excessive force in a palpably partisan manner. At all the three places, the administration failed to take preventive steps to save the situation.
But there were marked differences also. In Bharatpur, the bone of contention was a graveyard that the Muslim Meos had been using as a burial ground. The Gujjars did not approve of it. The matter could have been easily solved by offering another piece of land for burials.
In Bharatpur the Gujjars were better armed. That was not the case with the Muslims of Rudrapur or Pratapgarh. Had the Gujjars licensed firearms? The oncoming CBI enquiry is likely to, and must look into the matter from this angle.
Was the police firing in Rudrapur resorted to after the proper order of a Magistrate or his equivalent authority? The press reports are silent on the subject. But in the case of Bharatpur the motivated Saffron brigade forced the coward lady Magistrate to put her signature on the dotted line of the firing order.
What the National Commission for Minorities has said in its probe report is: “The Sub-Divisional Magistrate Mr. Banwarilal admitted in private there were Hindutva elements goading the earlier Collector and his team to aggressive action on the (September 14 evening) session at the police station.” The report also added: “The representatives of local Meos alleged rightwing Gujjars goaded the District Magistrate to order firing.”
Wonder how successfully the Saffron forces used the police and misused the District Magistrate in Rudrapur! The trigger in Rudrapur was unique, not exactly unique because the votaries of Saffron have used it much earlier also. The latest diabolical use of pork is just the brushing up of an old strategy.
According to the Urdu newspapers’ reportage, the communal-divide interested quarters smeared a volume of the Holy Qur’ān with the blood of a swine and threw the bundle into the premises of a temple. The bundle was wrapped in a red piece of cloth. It was the first attempt to provoke a riot. When the Muslims came to know about the event, they lodged a complaint with the police. But no action at all was taken for three days. It is alleged the police knew the mischief mongers who had also let loose pigs in the area to enflame the situation. When Muslims again refused to get provoked and resort to violence, the trouble shooters put pork on a copy of the holy scripture and put it on fire.
Anybody in India can fully understand the meaning of these reported provocations.
SIKHS ALSO PROVOKED
At the risk of digression from the subject, it has to be stated that the local Sikh community had difference of opinion on any subject related to Sikhs alone. To add fuel to the fire, our Saffron brethren successfully diverted the angry sentiments of the Sikhs against Muslims. The Khatri section of the Sikhs particularly fell a prey to the Hindutva machinations. When the Muslims took their injured to the hospital, Dr. Gill refused to admit them without any legal and moral reason. Muslims succumbed to injuries in the absence of treatment. There was no arrangement for the protection of the minority. Muslim property was reduced to ashes in a planned manner.
It is a matter of satisfaction that the situation was not allowed to worsen in Pratapgarh, U.P. Fourteen persons received bullet injuries. One is critical. About a dozen houses were set afire. Several shops were first looted then put to fire. There was stone-throwing at mosques without any rhyme or reason. The District Magistrate and the Senior Superintendent of Police are watching the situation from close quarters.
The Muslim leadership visualises a plan, a plot, a pattern in Bharatpur in Rajasthan, Rudrapur in Uttarakhand, and Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh. The minority, and it is well-known, has a grudge against the Government for not implementing, and deliberately so, the recommendations of the riot probes. Sometimes much reluctantly it implements the recommendations but the real architects of the disturbances and the biased elements in the police and paramilitary forces are not punished as they should be.
From Rajasthan, a ‘glad tiding’ has come and some heads have rolled but such good news is yet to come from the BJP-ruled Uttarakhand and the BSP-led Uttar Pradesh.
We would like to draw the attention of the Union Home Ministry to the use of Qur’ān and pork for provoking disturbances. Watch and action is also necessary because it seems the anti-integration forces remain prepared round the clock to unleash their rabidness on the unarmed minority.