The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sought a report within four weeks from the Akhilesh Yadav government on Friday following allegations that 250 Hindu families were forced to leave Kairana town in western Uttar Pradesh because of extortion and threats.
Terming the allegations as “serious in nature”, the commission also directed its deputy inspector general (investigation) to send a team for a spot inquiry and submit a report in two weeks.
The move came on a complaint that a Hindu woman was gang-raped and murdered in the town recently but police didn’t arrest the suspects because of political pressure.
In 2014, two businessmen --Shankar and his brother Raju -- were shot dead in broad daylight after they refused to pay money to an alleged Muslim gang, the complaint also said.
The local BJP member of Parliament, Hukum Singh, has claimed more than 250 Hindu families migrated from the city in the last two years following an alleged spike in crime against the community. The party is also sending a team to Kairana.
Police admitted to a few cases of extortion but said the bulk of the migration was because of a lack of jobs in the area.
Sub-inspector of Kairana police station Ravindra Singh also rejected allegations that the local administration was working under pressure from the Muslim community.
The allegations surrounding the Muslim-majority town – a part of Shamli district – comes less than a year before assembly polls in the politically crucial state.
Communal tension is also mounting in Greater Noida’s Bisada village – a roughly three-hour drive– after a local panchayat demanded cow slaughter charges be pressed against the family of Mohammad Ikhlaq, who was lynched by a mob for allegedly possessing beef last year, triggering nationwide outrage.
Rival parties said the BJP was trying to fan communal passions for electoral benefit.
Accusing the BJP of dividing people on castes and religious lines, Congress leader Basheer Ahmad asked, “Why did Hukum Singh keep mum when people were being killed and exodus began?”
The ruling Samajwadi Party’s district president Kiranpal Kashyap termed the allegations a “political stunt” to polarise voters. The BJP is looking to dethrone the SP in the state polls and repeat its bumper Lok Sabha performance, when it picked up 71 of the state’s 80 seats.