The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), which has considerable influence over the farming community in west UP, launched a communal harmony movement in the rural areas of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts on Tuesday.
A couple of leaders of the organisation -- Rakesh Tikait and Naresh Tikait -- are facing charges of inciting the mob and are under house arrest.
A meeting of the BKU leaders was held under the chairmanship of Rakesh Tikait at his residence in Muzaffarnagar on Tuesday.
Expressing concern over the clash between the two communities, which left 38 persons dead, he said, “The volunteers of BKU have been told to visit the strife-torn villages in traditional attire (green headgear and kurta) and request everyone to maintain peace.”
The union volunteers are also urging the people, who have fled their villages in the wake of communal tension, to come back.
In addition, the volunteers are holding meetings with village elders and other influential people, urging them to provide security to the members of the other community.
“Even as other political parties like SP, BJP, BSP and Congress are calculating the gains and losses from the riot, the BKU is at the receiving end,” said Rakesh, adding the schism between the two communities would blunt their farmers’ movement.
Refuting the charges of provoking the mob, he said the panchayat in question was called for the Bahu bachao Beti bachao movement.
“Moreover, the call for the panchayat was not given by the BKU but the regional khap chaudhary organisation. It was open for all political parties and social organisations,” Rakesh added.
The main demands of the panchayat were to save those falsely implicated in the triple murder case and to ensure safety of the womenfolk, he said. BKU has called for withdrawal of cases registered against Rakesh Tikait and Naresh Tikait.