‘Azam Khan engineered the Muzaffarnagar riots,’ says UP BJP President

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Photo: Shailendra Pandey
Azam Khan Photo: Shailendra Pandey

BJP MLAs were claiming that they were ready for the police to arrest them, so why is the party protesting the arrest?

It’s a clear case of the Samajwadi Party government’s vendetta against the BJP. We are not protesting against the arrest of party MLA Suresh Rana. But why has only the BJP MLA been arrested? Why not others who made highly inflammatory speeches in Muzaffarnagar city on 30 August after the Friday prayers? The police had lodged an FIR for hate speech against BSP MP Kadir Rana, BSP MLAs Noor Salim and Maulana Jamil and several others. The police have not taken any action on the FIR lodged on 30 August, but the BJP MLA, against whom a fake case of hate speech was lodged on 8 September, has been arrested. We are protesting against this discrimination. The arrest of the BJP MLA has exposed the double standards practiced by the Samajwadi Party. By arresting the BJP MLA, the SP government is only trying to appease Muslims.

Why do you think is the government only targeting BJP MLAs?

BJP MLAs are being targeted by the SP government only to save the real culprits who conceived, designed, directed and executed the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar and to serve the narrow political ends of the ruling party. The key person who engineered the riots is the Minority Affairs and Urban Development Minister Azam Khan, which has also been established by a sting operation conducted by a TV channel. Moreover, a local Samajwadi Party leader of Muzaffarnagar, Rashid Siddiqui, delivered a hateful speech on 30 August, but no FIR, was lodged against him. Enough evidence is available against him, yet he was spared by the district administration.

What is your demand now?

We demand the Centre’s intervention. Akhilesh Yadav government should be dismissed without any further loss of time and President’s rule be imposed in the state. A Special Investigation Team should be set up and under the watch of the Supreme Court to conduct the probe into the riots. The SIT should specifically probe the role of ministers and other political leaders of the Samajwadi Party who instigated and fanned the riots in the district and prevented the police from taking action against the rioters. We want to tell the Samajwadi Party that it will have to pay a heavy price for its unilateral action against the BJP leaders during the 2014 parliament elections. The electorate of UP is silently watching the blatantly communal policies of the SP government and it will give a fitting reply to the government in 2014.

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Special Correspondent (Lucknow)

Virendra Nath Bhatt is a post graduate in Economics. Started career as journalist in 1982, by contributing for a couple of Hindi dailies of Lucknow and Bareilly and also Jansatta of Delhi. Joined the English daily `The Pioneer in 1990 and later shifted to National Herald. After one year joined as correspondent for the Onlooker Magazine published from Bombay in 1991. In 1995 again joined The Pioneer in 1995 and worked till 2007. In December joined Indian Express Luck now. In September 2011 joined Tehelka. Bhatt has extensively covered parliament and assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh since 1985 and also the Ramjanma Bhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya and the movement for social justice – the social strife against the implementation of the Mandal commission report in August 1990.

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