Azam Khan seeks UN intervention into minority ‘miseries’, BJP reacts
Uttar Pradesh minority welfare and urban development minister Azam Khan on Monday accused the BJP of planning and executing the Dadri lynching and said the state government will write a letter to the United Nations about the killing.Updated: Oct 05, 2015 21:44 IST
Senior UP minister Azam Khan has written a letter to the UN Secretary General on the brutal killing of a Muslim in Uttar Pradesh’s Bisada village on the suspicion that he had stored and consumed banned cow-meat.
Khan has also sought time from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the killing of 55-year-old Mohammad Ikhlaq which he said had instilled a sense of fear in the minds of minorities in India.
“I humbly request to the highest international body to look into our miseries and take care of us and to impress upon the union government of India to stick to international agreements and … to let secularism flourish and not to push the agenda of extra constitutional authorities within the country to turn it into theocratic, majority Hindu nation,” he wrote.
Bisada has been on edge since a mob lynched 55-year-old Ikhlaq a week ago and left his younger son, Danish, critically injured. Sectarian tensions have also been simmering with local BJP leaders stirring up passions with incendiary speeches.
Khan said fear among the minorities, especially Muslims and Christians, has increased since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power.
“The PM always keeps mum on the rabidity of RSS and its affiliate organizations,” he wrote in his letter. “Once he became the PM he reached out to the world leaders and assured them that India will always be secular and plural but the ground reality is totally different. He talks something before world leaders and UNGA but does the opposite and provides support to the RSS and its affiliate organisations to intimidate minorities in the country to convert India into a majority Hindu nation and minority-less country by 2022-23.”
A mob attacked 50-year-old Mohammad Ikhlaq’s house on September 28 in Bisara accusing the family of butchering a calf. It lynched Ikhlaq and left his younger son Danish critically injured. Danish, who has undergone two surgeries, is still not out of danger.
At a press conference convened at his official residence in Lucknow, Khan clarified that approaching the UN was “not going against the country.”
Asked why he has decided to move to the UN, instead of taking up the issue within the country by taking recourse to law, “I don’t have any great expectations from the UN either. When we are unable to get justice in our own country, what can we expect from outside. Still, we will raise the issue in the larger interest of the minorities and to foil the RSS-BJP plan of making India a Hindu Rashtra.”
Khan also said he would also urge President Pranab Mukherjee and the PM to call a ‘round table conference’ to discuss what would be the fate of “Muslims in an India under the BJP-RSS combine.”
‘Grand designs of hate brigade’
Khan’s press conference was preceded by three small video clips in which some people were seen raising questions about
PM Modi’s secular credentials outside the UN. After the screening, Khan claimed that the ongoing police investigation in the Dadri lynching case “points to some grand design.”
“Something will come out of these investigations soon but it’s not just a case of one issue, as the (emerging) pattern and the question it raises are much broader.”
He denied the charges that the Samajwadi Party government has been unable to check the repeated communal flare ups in the state.
“Having tasted blood in terms of electoral victory in 2014 general elections, after Muzaffarnagar (riots), in which they accused me as well of inciting hatred, the saffron brigade have been busy arousing passions in a systemic manner. Police investigations would soon be out. My government has not only applied a soothing balm to victims but also acted swiftly against hate merchants,” said Khan.
However when asked if his government would act against BJP lawmaker Sangeet Som and VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi for their inflammatory speeches, he said, “That is the beauty of democracy. But we did control the situation quickly to foil the designs of the hate brigade.”
Khan not only attacked PM Modi but also dragged Union home minister Rajnath Singh into the lynching controversy saying the area (around Dadri) was the “rajninitik kshetra” (area of political influence) of Singh’s son.
Singh’s son Pankaj is state general secretary of the BJP.
“It’s clear that the BJP is out to create mischief. The fascist forces are very active. The area around which violence took place also happens to be the zone of political activity for Union home minister’s son. These forces are also felicitating VHP leader Ashok Singhal,” he said.
Asked to explain his statement urging Hindus to bring down all five-star hotels that sell beef and display the price list much in the same way as the Babri mosque was brought down, Khan said, “Ayodhya is a dark chapter in the country’s history when the elected government of the state lied on oath and went back on its words of protecting the religious rights of a community.”
Watch | Azam Khan launches scathing attack on PM Modi
BJP slams Azam over letter to UN on communal incidents
The BJP on Monday lashed out at Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan for writing to the UN on “communal incidents” in the state.
BJP’s state spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak told reporters in Lucknow that it would have been “prudent” that the minister first spoke on the issue to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav before taking it to international fora.
“Azam Khan is only interested in gaining political brownie points out of an unfortunate incident,” Pathak said.
He said maintenance of law and order was a state subject and that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his Samajwadi Party should explain why such an incident took place.
(With inputs from agencies)
First Published: Oct 05, 2015 14:54 IST