Gaurav Jain, a resident of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, got the shock of his life when he saw the photo of his house back in his native town on the front page of a Hindi daily.
“ Yeh ghar bikau hai , (this house is for sale),” says the text written with charcoal on the front wall of the house in the photo.
Mr. Jain, who had just picked up the newspaper early in the morning, took a long, hard look at the story. To his disappointment, the news report talked about “exodus of Hindus” from Kairana and the photo of his house in Kandhla was used to establish the claim.
Mr. Jain saw the same photo being carried by several other dailies, but failed to understand the context. Later, he found out from his friends that BJP MP Hukum Singh had publicly announced his family to be among those Hindus who were forced to leave Kandhla.
“We were completely appalled to see that our names had been used by the politician, who claimed that we had left Kandhla out of fear. There is no such thing as ‘forced migration of Hindus.’
Kandhla and Kairana are famous in western U.P. for being extremely peaceful places which did not witness any communal clashes even when our vicinity was burning during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. Such is the communal harmony in the area that Jama Masjid and Lakshmi Narayan Temple, the two icons of Kandhla, share a common wall,” Mr. Jain told The Hindu on phone.
According to Mr. Jain, the message written on the wall of his house was the handiwork of the local “property mafia.” He filed a complaint with the Shamli District Magistrate Sujith Kumar last Friday against “people who were trying to disturb the communal harmony” in the region. Mr. Jain, a resident of Sarvgyan Mohalla in Kandhla, moved to Ghaziabad in 2010 for better business opportunities.