‘Our Children’: Many Piqued at Varanasi Top Cop’s Binary over Protestors


Chhapra: Army aspirants set ablaze a train during their protest against Agnipath scheme, at a railway station in Chhapra on Thursday, June 16, 2022. (Photo: IANS)

The police are cajoling the Agnivir protestors in the face of large-scale violence and arson. Contrast this with the reign of terror unleashed by the same police when Muslims held a token protest demonstration last Friday

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Netizens have called out the double standards of the administration in their reactions to the two protests the country has witnessed in quick succession.

The violent protests against the Central government’s Agnipath scheme that broke out barely a week after Muslims protested against derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammed exposed the inherent bias of the government, the police, the media, and commentators against Muslims.

The protestors agitating against the Agnipath scheme went on the rampage indulging in violence and arson on a large scale across states taking the entire country to ransom for full three days. They set trains and buses on fire, vendalised railway and police stations, raided houses, looted shops, and damaged public properties.

However, the police refrained from taking any harsh measures to crush the agitation. Instead, they tried to deal with violent protestors with kid glows using persuasive tactics even when they pelted stones and attacked on police personnel which only emboldened them further to up the ante.

Throughout the violent agitation, both the police and the administration remained guarded in their reaction taking care not to annoy the protestors.

Videos surfaced on social media show the protesters are openly abusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and issuing an ultimatum to the government to withdraw the recruitment scheme, or they will resort to terrorism in pursuit of their cause.

Notwithstanding the gravity of the situation, the police remained unmoved. Contrast this with a reign of terror let loose by the same police when Muslims took out a peaceful march on June 10 to register their protest against blasphemous comments on the Prophet. They had opened fire indiscriminately; arrested Muslim youths and subjected them to third-degree custodial torture.

What was all the more intriguing is a statement coming from none but Satish Bharduwaj, Police Commissioner of Varanasi, the city where Muslims had faced brutal police repression. Notwithstanding the most horrifying agitation in the country, he referred to the protesters behind the violence as “our children” who, he said need to be explained about the army recruitment scheme properly.
Addressing media persons, Bhardwaj said, “These are our children. They are not from outside. We need to explain to them about the scheme and we are doing this.”

His statement has piqued many of those who have watched the barbarity with which the Uttar Pradesh Police dealt with Muslim protestors the other day.

Reacting to the top cop’s statement, Rajya Sabha MP and Chairman of Congress’ minority wing Imran Pratapgarhi retorted, “The children who protested on Friday after the namaz was also your children. If only the police had explained to those children with the same sweet words, what difference would it have made?”

Prominent Radio Jockey Sayema asked are those children whose house was bulldozed and those who were beaten up in police custody were not the children of this country. “The justice has been made a joke,” she remarked.
Former chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission Zafarul Islam Khan echoes similar sentiments when he said, “These are our children. And those whose house was bulldozed and given a return gift in the police station are children of others.”

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Uttar Pradesh police in Hapur distributed sweets to those who protested against the Central government’s Agnipath scheme.

It’s worth mentioning here that in 2019, as many as 23 Muslims were killed in police action when they protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Most of the deceased were shot in the chest and head in police firing.

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