The Union home ministry’s indictment of Uttar Pradesh over the communal situation in 2012 has snowballed into a major controversy in the state.
According to a ministry report, nearly 100 cases of communal violence were reported last year, in which at least 34 people died and 456 were injured.
Finding itself on the backfoot, the Samajwadi Party government has been forced to initiate immediate damage-control measures. “An extensive drive to contain communal forces had been launched from January 1,” said RM Shrivastav, principal secretary (home).
The Centre’s report has found resonance among the Muslim bodies and the opposition.
“The SP government has proved totally inefficient in maintaining communal harmony,” said Qasim Rasool Ilyas, spokesman of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMLPB), who had extensively toured riot-hit areas of Mathura, Ghaziabad, Faizabad, Pratapgarh and Bareilly.
“No senior SP leader -- let alone the chief minister – had ever visited these places after the clashes,” he added.
Leader of Opposition Nasimuddin Siddique said “Uttar Pradesh has become danga pradesh”. UPCC spokesman Maroof Khan said the SP has been fanning communal flames for political reasons.