Muzaffarnagar riots: On the ground, Muslims take stock of 'a new situation'

Sep 13 2013, 09:23 IST
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Security personnel keep vigil as people are seen in a shop during the relaxed hours of curfew in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar. (PTI photo) Security personnel keep vigil as people are seen in a shop during the relaxed hours of curfew in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar. (PTI photo)
Summary‘It is clear the BJP is trying to gain, but what was the state govt doing?’

Amid the violence of a scale these areas of UP have never seen before, there is restlessness in the Muslim community about “adjusting to a new situation” — and it is not just about displacement, disposession of assets, or attacks .

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Several Muslims familiar with the area and its dynamics point out that in these areas seen as communal flashpoints, including in 1947 and 1992, what has been consistent is a political sync between Jat and Muslim interests. The rise of Charan Singh, his family and the Rashtriya Lok Dal, and even the success of farm lobbyist Mahender Singh Tikait, owed a lot to the two communities sticking together.

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Kawkab Hamid, four times an MLA since 1984 from Baghpat, is touring affected villages, hoping people can soon go back to their homes. “I am amazed why 500 people in the VHP’s yatra were deemed fit to be banned by this government and yet thousands allowed to congregate at the maha panchayat,” Hamid says. “It is clear that the BJP is trying to gain mileage but what was the state government doing?”

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The sudden violence is being seen as an attempt to break the age-old Jat-Muslim equation. The BJP is seen as the beneficiary, but there are differing opinions whether the Samjawadi Party, publicly a rival, is helping the BJP push the mood. Must Read: Few choices on flight to safety

Former RLD MP Mahmood Madani, also the head of one faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, was in the region. Unlike his rival and uncle Arshad Madani, who has been hesitant about critcising the SP, Mahmood Madani has gone all out against Mulayam Singh Yadav, writing to the prime minister that the state government should be dismissed.

“It has not been about any communal riot but about gangs of VHP and Bajrang Dal people firing in villages; clearing the villages has been the aim,” he said. “If the government could not see it coming after the mahapanchayat, originally a Jat khap panchayat, was hijacked by the BJP as a ‘save Hindus panchayat’, then they clearly allowed it to happen, wanting to pretend to be saviours

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