1994 Rampur Ka Tiraha firing: Officials, politicians off hook; activists blame Cong, BJP
Activists blamed the BJP and the Congress for not bringing to book the officials responsible for the police firing in which scores of statehood activists were killed in Muzaffarnagar on October 2, 1994.dehradun Updated: Oct 02, 2017 19:30 IST
Activists blamed the BJP and the Congress for not bringing to book the officials responsible for the police firing in which scores of statehood activists were killed in Muzaffarnagar on October 2, 1994.
The two parties have been alternately ruling Uttarakhand since its formation in 2000.
Security personnel fired at the agitationists when a convoy of buses, carrying them to Delhi for a rally, reached Rampur Ka Tiraha in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar, killing scores and leaving many grievously injured and handicapped for life.
Many women activists were reportedly molested by the security men. Many of them took shelter in nearby fields and villages.
“A total of 42 statehood activists were killed and several injured in police firing in different areas in Uttarakhand and at Rampur Ka Tiraha that year (1994),” said Kamla Pant, a statehood activist who was part of a group who travelled to Delhi in a separate fleet of buses through a different route.
“Scores of women activists were molested by the police at Rampur Ka Tiraha after being forcibly de-boarded from buses at the dead of night.”
Pant said all officials and politicians responsible for the killing were at large even 23 years after the incident.
“All officials who ordered police firing on statehood activists continue to hold high positions in the UP government,” she said. “The politicians of the BJP and Congress share the responsibility because they didn’t mount pressure on the CBI, which investigated the Rampur Ka Tiraha incident, to bring the perpetrators to book.”
Sarita Negi, another activist, said the politicians of the BJP and the Congress ruled the state because of the sacrifices of the martyred activists. “Yet, they chose not to bring their (statehood activists’) killers to book shows they are hand in glove with the latter.”
Veteran statehood activist Sushila Baluni agreed. “The perpetrators of the Rampur Ka Tiraha incident will continue to be at large until the politicians of those two parties do not realise that they have been ruling the state owing to the sacrifices made by the statehood activists,” she said.
Pant accused the state governments of trying to placate the statehood activists with temptations, such as pensions and monetary compensations. “Such temptations are given so that statehood activists do not question the politicians for failing to resolve the issues for which they (activists) carried out such a long-drawn agitation.”
The BJP and the Congress denied the allegations. “We did our best to ensure that the perpetrators of the firing were brought to book, but legal glitches came in the way,” state BJP general secretary Naresh Bansal said.
Congress leader Surendra Kumar said his party took steps for the benefit of statehood activists whenever it was in power.