In a joint statement S.R. Darapuri, Arundhati Dhuru, Mohammad Shoaib, Girish Kumar Pandey, Omkar Singh, Rajeev Yadav, Shahnawaz Alam, Surabhi Agarwal, Bobby Ramakant and Sandeep Pandey said, “Just when it appeared that Samajwadi Party government had handled the 84 Kosi Parikrama incident quite well and had emerged as a hero in the eyes of Muslims, Muzaffarnagar has happened. It has painted the government in a very bad light. There was communal tension in the air in Muzaffarnagar for more than 10 days, Muslim leaders had already met Mulayam Singh and requested on 1 September for paramilitary forces to be posted there.
“Thirty-eight (now about 50) people are already dead, many more have been injured, thousands displaced and there has been huge loss of property. While Durga Shakti Nagpal was suspended because of a minor act which did not even succeed in provoking any communal feeling, we’re yet to see action against any high ranking official in Muzaffarnagar. Only two SHOs have been suspended.
“If a huge mahapanchayat is allowed to be held in which people came armed, when section 144 was in implementation, it shows complicity of administration. At what level the decision was taken to allow the mahapanchayat to be held? Obviously, it couldn’t have been the two suspended SHOs. Responsibility will have to be fixed and action taken against guilty officer(s).
“The meeting was dominated by BJP leaders who gave provocative speeches. Sangh Parivar played a crucial role in mobilisation. It couldn’t have been BKU alone. Currently the BKU can’t possibly organise farmers on their own issues in such a large number. Why would the farmers assemble on a communal issue? It couldn’t have happened without the communal machinery of RSS at work. The question is when the Sangh Parivar leaders are clearly identified, who added fuel to fire, why are they being spared? What is the Samajwadi Party government afraid of?” said social and political activists.
“While communal riots have taken place earlier also in this SP regime but none was so bad as this one in terms of giving the rioters free hand and clear involvement of BJP leaders. Is it a coincidence that the communal atmosphere has suddenly worsened since the arrival of Narendra Modi on national scene? It is a speculation that Modi was testing the waters in Ayodhya through the 84 Kosi parikrama. It became clear very soon that Ayodhya issue can’t be milked any more in the same manner as in post-Masjid demolition phase. But the 84 Kosi parikrama did serve the purpose of charging the cadre. Now the energies of this cadre have been used in Muzaffarnagar,” added S.R. Darapuri, Arundhati Dhuru, Mohammad Shoaib, and Girish Kumar Pandey.
The polarisation has been complete. Some of the traditional vote bank of Ajit Singh has shifted to BJP, at least for the time being and possibly till next election. Mulayam Singh’s calculation may be that while his rival RLD would weaken, the gain for BJP may not be enough to convert into seats. He, of course, is still counting on counter-mobilisation of Muslims in his favour. This strategy of weakening your rivals to strengthen oneself may backfire if things go out of control as they look at this moment in Muzaffarnagar.
It is sad that parties like SP and BJP have brought back the politics of riots full-fledged. They are playing with fire while people pay a price with their lives.
“We strongly condemn the communalisation of politics and hope that people will teach a lesson to the parties indulging in this in the next elections,” added Omkar Singh, Rajeev Yadav, Shahnawaz Alam, Surabhi Agarwal, Bobby Ramakant, and Sandeep Pandey.