KAIRANA/NEW DELHI: Officials in western Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana town said on Sunday that a partial verification of a list of Hindu families who allegedly left the town appeared to puncture the BJP’s claim that they were targeted by Muslim gangs.
Assistant superintendent of police Anil Kumar Jha said a spot verification of 150 addresses of the list revealed several reasons for the migration, including better business and job prospects. “Many of them even migrated eight or ten years ago,” he said.
Police also said they found about 150 Muslim families who also migrated from the city for different reasons.
The revelations appeared to force local member of Parliament, Hukum Singh, on the backfoot. The MP, who spent the past week alleging a Muslim-led backlash against Hindu families, said his party workers prepared the families’ list, not him.
The alleged exodus of 250 Hindu families has dominated headlines in a state where elections are due early next year. The BJP appears to want to use the issue to consolidate the Hindu vote in its favour as it looks to dethrone the Samajwadi Party government.
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Meanwhile, the BJP’s ideological mentors, the RSS said, reports about a large number of Hindus migrating from Kairana town were a vindication of its concerns about the safety of the community in “Muslim-dominated areas”.
BJP’s Kairana MP Hukum Singh had first spoken about the alleged exodus last week, claiming that over 250 families had been forced to flee following threats and extortions from an alleged Muslim gang.
On Sunday, BJP president Amit Shah too spoke about the violence in Kairana and Mathura. Earlier in the day, the state unit asked Hukum Singh – who was among those accused of inciting violence in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots – to lead a fact-finding mission.
A senior RSS functionary said that they too had received a report on the exodus from their members in the area. “It is just a tip of the iceberg,” he said, adding that there were several pockets in Uttar Pradesh where Hindus were being “harassed”.
In Kairana, he added, the tension appears to have escalated because Hindus who complained to the authorities received no help from the police or the administration.