Muzaffarnagar may well go on to change political equations in Uttar Pradesh, the state which sends the highest — 80 — number of members to the Lok Sabha, in an election year and the “change” doesn’t seem to augur well for the ruling Samajwadi Party.
The SP’s Yadav-Muslim equation has come under tremendous pressure because of the Akhilesh government’s failure to prevent the communal flare-up that has claimed 37 lives.
Several Muslim organisations on Wednesday demanded that the government be dismissed for failing to check the violence.
The ineptness of the state government, led by 40-year-old Akhilesh Singh Yadav, the youngest chief minister in the country, was visible right from the word go. The “confusion” created by the Yadav clan leaders — especially the CM’s father and SP boss Mulayam Singh Yadav — proved to be disastrous during the state’s worst communal conflagration in decades. The SP though is harping on a BJP-BSP-Congress conspiracy.
Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Wednesday that the Centre had alerted 11 states about possible communal violence ahead of next year’s general polls.
But the administration and police force were so confused over the chain of command that even after the killing of three young men in Kaval village on August 27, they chose to do nothing but wait for the leaders to come up with a solution.
Though intelligence agencies alerted the state about brewing tension between Hindus and Muslims, the district administration permitted the BJP, Bharatiya Kisan Union and a Jat khap to convene the September 7 mahapanchayat.
What followed was a vicious cycle of violence that quickly engulfed rural areas which made the work of law enforcement agencies even more difficult.
No preventive arrests were made though the police had prepared a list of rioters in all the 75 districts of the state. The administration didn’t even try to reach out to the people who have enough clout to soothe communal tension.
Lives could have been saved had the government imposed curfew earlier or moved in more forces. In the end, it all boils down to failure of the government to act in time.