Even as facts on the ground junked the BJP’s claim of an exodus from Kairana in western Uttar Pradesh, the party on Friday demanded a CBI probe into the issue.
BJP MLA Sangeet Som, accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, issued an “ultimatum” to the State government to bring back those who migrated from the small town within 20 days or else his supporters would start an agitation.
Hardening its stance, the BJP said the CBI should also probe complaints of similar migration in other parts of the State.
The party submitted a memorandum and probe report of its own to U.P. Governor Ram Naik. An eight-member BJP team had visited Kairana on Wednesday.
While the Shamli administration has rubbished claims of a religion-based exodus in Kairana saying the migration was purely due to economic factors, the BJP memorandum and report had a clear communal slant.
In its appeal to Mr. Naik, the party demanded the “rehabilitation under police protection of residents of Kairana who were forced to migrate due to the terror of criminals of a particular community (varg vishesh) who enjoyed the patronage of the ruling party.”
The three-page probe report and the memorandum made many references to “Hindu” and “varg vishesh” (specific community), an indirect reference to the minority community, belying the Bharatiya Janata Party's official stand that it was projecting Kairana as a purely law and order issue.
BJP legislator Suresh Khanna, who led the probe team said the situation on the ground was “much worse” than depicted by MP Hukum Singh’s figures and more people were looking to migrate due to existing “fear and terror” of local gangs, especially that of Mukim Kala.
“Traders of Kairana are so scared that they are not sending their children, especially girls, to school,” the report said.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Sangeet Som and Samajwadi Party leader Atul Pradhan, attempted to take out road marches in Meerut — Nirbhaya and Sadhbhavana rallies, respectively — on the Kairana issue but were cut short by police as prohibitory orders were in place.