In escalation of political tensions over alleged migration of Hindus from Kairana, BJP MLA Sangeet Som today gave a 15-day ultimatum to the UP government to bring them back, in an apparent bid to keep the issue alive ahead of elections in the state.
As Som, who is an accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case, and Samajwadi Party(SP) leader Atul Pradhan took out separate rallies, prohibitory orders were enforced across Shamli district and borders of Kairana sealed and paramilitary forces deployed. Both the rallies were stopped by authorities.
Som warned if the SP government in Uttar Pradesh does not bring the Hindus who have allegedly migrated back no one will be able to stop BJP workers from going to Kairana. The warning came even as Shamli district administration is stated to have found that only three families left Kairana due to fear of criminals from the list of 346 families said to have “fled” due to persecution.
Hitting back at Som, SP spokesman and senior cabinet minister Shivpal Yadav trashed charges of “exodus” and accused the saffron party of vitiating the communal atmosphere in UP for political gains with 2017 Assembly polls in mind.
Yadav proposed that a team of five “apolitical persons” visit Kairana to probe the reality. “We suggest Pramod Krishnam, Swami Kalyan, Naraina Giri, Swami Chinmayanand and Swamy Chakrapani to go and see the reality and give report,” he told reporters in Lucknow.
Som had started his march to Kairana from his house in Sardhana, about 60 km away, in adjoining Meerut district with thousands of followers but was stopped at the border of the town keeping in mind the situation, Meerut District Collector Pankaj Yadav said.
“As a precautionary measure police and PAC have been stationed in heavy numbers. Section 144 is in force. No one will be allowed to break the law in this situation.”
Shamli District Magistrate Sujit Kumar told PTI that prohibitory orders are enforced across Shamli district, including Kairana town, and any march or yatra with political leaders would not be allowed without permission.
All entrances to Kairana have been sealed with the deployment of paramilitary forces with security officials keeping a watch on the situation.
Som said he postponed his ‘Nirbhay’ rally after prohibitory orders were enforced.
“We’ve given a 15-day ultimatum. Either the government gets back the people who’ve migrated or we’ll have to take to the streets,” he said.
“If in 15 days they do not return we’re warning that no one will be able to stop BJP workers from going to Kairana or to any other place,” he said.
Pradhan said Som is an accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots and it was to counter his “malicious” efforts that the SP attempted to hold their ‘Sadbhavna’ rally.
“There is no exodus in Kairana or anywhere in the state. We have intelligence and other reports in this regard. BJP leaders including Hukum Singh and others are inciting communal passions for political gains as assembly elections are near,” Shivpal Yadav said.