Kairana: BJP hardens line even as officials nail ‘exodus’ lies

Sunila Devi, mother of Ashok Kumar, whose name was mentioned in Hukum Singh’s list, but was found to be working at Kandhla town. — Photo: R.V. Moorthy  

The district administration of Shamli in a report submitted to the Uttar Pradesh government has rubbished BJP MP Hukum Singh’s claims of a Hindu 'exodus' from Kairana town. It has also rejected the contention that the existing migration was due to law and order problems.

The BJP, however, is unrelenting and from its earlier position of a “Hindu exodus” has changed tack to projecting the Kairana issue as forced migration of residents due to fear induced by the police appeasement of criminals belonging to the minority community.

This is the line taken by the party’s probe team that visited Kairana on Wednesday and submitted its report to State president Keshav Prasad Maurya on Thursday. A report would also be submitted to party chief Amit Shah. The BJP will submit the report to U.P. Governor Ram Naik on Friday, Mr. Maurya said, even as party sources said they were preparing a road map to further intensify the issue across the State.

“We are scouting for other ‘Kairanas’ in the State, where similar migration has taken place,” a party leader told The Hindu, hinting that after Shamli, the party could rake up similar programmes in Bareilly, also a communally sensitive district.

Migration rampant: BJP

BJP MLA Suresh Khanna, who headed the Kairana probe team, claimed that migration due to fear, extortion and ransom threats by goons was rampant. “There is no justice, as the police is hesitant to act against the criminals of a particular religion and complaints are not registered if the victim belongs to another religion. They are asked to settle it among themselves” Mr. Khanna said. When it was pointed out that Mr. Singh’s claims had been proven false by media reports, Mr. Khanna stuck to his guns.

In its preliminary report submitted to the government, the district administration has listed lack of industries and health and educational centres in Karaina as the reason behind the economic migration.

Out of the 346 families listed by Mr. Singh, the Shamli administration has probed 119 of which it found 68 had left Kairana 10-15 years ago for employment, business, education of children, health and other services. Four persons on the list are dead, while 13 families were found still living in Kairana. The remaining families left Kairana over five years ago due to various reasons but their ancestral property, homes and shops are still intact in Kairana.

The State, however, clarified that the gang led by Mukim Kala, a local criminal cited by the BJP as terrorising Hindu traders, has been neutralised, adding that both Hindu and Muslim families were affected by his crimes, which were “purely criminal” and not communal.

Meanwhile, Hukum Singh, has promised to reveal more names of those who allegedly left under duress from adjoining areas in western UP. He also asked Sangeet Som, a party MLA, not to undertake his proposed padyatra from Kairana to Kandhla on Friday. “I do not want him to stir the communal pot in Kairana,” Mr. Singh told The Hindu on Thursday.

(With inputs from Mohammad Ali)

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 7:17:23 AM |

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