Kairana ‘exodus’: BJP demands CBI probe, SP hits back citing Gujarat riots
Kairana, with a population of 86,000, shot into the limelight after BJP parliamentarian Hukum Singh released a list of 346 families who allegedly migrated over the years from the town.india Updated: Jun 18, 2016 06:49 IST
A firebrand BJP legislator on Friday gave a 15-day deadline to the Uttar Pradesh government to bring back Hindu families who have allegedly migrated from a small town that has emerged as the latest political flashpoint in the poll-bound state.
The party also released the report of a fact-finding team to Kairana and demanded a CBI probe into criminal gangs “hounding out Hindus” from the predominantly Muslim township in western Uttar Pradesh, around 100 km from Delhi.
The ruling Samajwadi Party was quick to hit back, asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP to “stop worrying” about Kairana and instead concentrate on “bringing back” people who fled Gujarat during the 2002 riots.
Theultimatum by Sangeet Som, an MLA accused in the 2013 communal riots in Muzaffarnagar, signalled the BJP’s intention of keeping the issue alive despite a climb down by the party MP who first raised the bogey of “Hindu exodus”.
The UP government has accused the BJP of giving a communal angle to a law and order problem, allegedly to polarise voters on religious lines ahead of next year’s assembly polls in the politically crucial state.
Som, who was stopped by the administration on Friday from leading a march to Kairana from adjoining Meerut district, warned that if the state government failed to bring back the Hindu families within a fortnight “no one will be able to stop BJP workers from going to Kairana or to any other place”.
While Som attempted a ‘Nirbhay’ rally to Kairana, the SP’s Atul Pradhan sought to counter it with a ‘Sadbhavna’ rally. The administration barred both from entering Shamli district.
The state BJP leadership, however, steered clear of Som’s yatra saying it was a personal act.
On Wednesday, an eight-member BJP team led by legislator Suresh Khanna had visited the town on a fact-finding mission.
Meanwhile, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said in Dehradun that it was “better to act cautiously” and find a solution to the problem instead of issuing statements on a sensitive issue like Kairana.
“If there is a fire somewhere, dousing the flames should be the first priority.”
SP’s UP in-charge and senior minister Shivpal Yadav, who quoted intelligence report to deny any exodus from the town, said the BJP should first try and bring back the people who fled Gujarat during the 2002 riots, when Narendra Modi was the chief minister.
He said the party has asked five eminent seers to visit Kairana to find out the facts and added that “if some people (have indeed) migrated, it was because of occupational and livelihood reasons.”
The SP found support from the Congress which too rubbished the BJP’s claims of migration from Kairana on communal lines.
“Our district and city units have sent us reports as per which there is no migration. The BJP is out to vitiate the atmosphere for polarising votes at the behest of their top leadership,” Congress legislature party (CLP) leader Pradip Mathur said.
Kairana, with a population of 86,000, shot into the limelight after BJP parliamentarian Hukum Singh released a list of 346 families who allegedly migrated over the years from the town.
After discrepancies were found in the list, Singh said those who migrated from the town included both Hindus and Muslims and “clarified” that Kairana was not a communal issue but a law and order problem.
(With inputs from PTI)