The Muzaffarnagar riots which have left 36 people dead and dozens injured are a shame on the nation. Although the riots took place due to clashes between two communities, the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government is largely to blame for the disturbances because of its unprecedented delay in taking action to bring things under control. That Uttar Pradesh is communally sensitive is well known.

Looking at the recent riots in Kishtwar (J&K), Nawada and Khagaria (Bihar) and many other places in the country, it appears that the States do not have any control over communal riots.

Mohd Mudassir Alam,

Kishanganj

The Samajwadi Party government cannot absolve itself of responsibility and put the entire blame for the riots on the BJP. No government can establish peace unless people learn to coexist harmoniously.

Rohit Sachdeva,

Amritsar

The editorial “Playing with fire” (Sept. 10) blames Hindutva elements for aggravating the riots. But the charge that a poisonous video was pressed into circulation by them is yet to be proved. The point is the U.P. administration failed to act on warnings. Had it taken precautionary measures, the loss of lives could have been avoided. It is an open secret that all parties thrive on communal lines. It is not fair to put the entire blame on one party, which is easier in the present circumstances.

G. Ramachandran,

Thiruvananthapuram

It is not correct to blame the BJP alone for the riots in Muzaffarnagar. Media reports have clearly stated that both Muslims and Hindus took the law into their own hands, leading to the escalation of tensions.

S. Umamahesweran,

Chennai

Vested interests instigate communal violence for political gains in the run-up to elections. Politicians who stop at nothing to further their and their parties’ interests must pause to think of the consequences of their actions. Since even a small incident like eve-teasing can snowball into a disaster of enormous proportions in our country, political leaders must act responsibly and refrain from stoking the communal fire.

G. David Milton,

Maruthancode

Engineering communal violence for political gains is dangerous. The fact that the situation in Muzaffarnagar deteriorated after politicians made inflammatory speeches at the khap mahapanchayat shows that the riots were well planned. Communal violence is like a storm that destroys everything that comes in the way. Secular parties and civil society should unite to fight against it.

B. Prabha,

Varkala

If only we had a responsive police force, there would have been no need for two young men to take the law into their own hands — which provided the spark for the communal riots. The police show no empathy for victims of sexual harassment. It is this indifference that makes people think they themselves should “teach a lesson” to the culprits. Had the police been sensitive, the two young men would not have killed the man who harassed the sister of one of them, they wouldn’t have died themselves, and there wouldn’t have been any riots. The incident was not the result of any Hindu-Muslim rivalry. It was later given a communal colour by vested interests for political gains. And the way the issue has developed has shifted our focus from the main issue — security for women.

Nishank Varshney,

Pilani

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