In protest against the raging communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts, Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, a prominent leader of the Barlevi sect of Sunni Muslims, resigned from the post of Advisor to the State Government on Handloom and Textiles – a post which accorded him the status of Minister of State.
Maulana Tauqeer is the younger brother of Maulana Subhan Raza Khan, the sajjaada (administrator) of ‘Dargah Alaa Hazrat’, the founder of the Barlevi Sunni sect of Islam. The dargah is the most revered place for millions of Sunni Muslims of the Indian subcontinent, including Pakistan and Bangladesh. He also heads a political party, Ittehade Millet Council (IMC), which has an alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP).
“I had accepted the offer of an alliance with the Samajwadi Party to fight the communal forces in UP. The SP government has singularly failed in its responsibility of ensuring safety of life and property of common citizens, and particularly Muslims, as over 100 incidents of communal conflict have occurred in the state ever since Akhilesh Yadav took over as the CM of UP,” said Maulana Tauqeer.
“I just received a message from Muzaffarnagar that nearly 10,000 Muslims in Kandhla sub division of the district, fearing threat to their lives, had to flee from the villages and rush to Kandhla town. They have been given shelter in a makeshift camp, but they are without food and water. I tried to contact the Chief Minister, but failed. My party had agreed to ally with the SP on the condition that the state government would constitute an enquiry commission to probe into all the previous major communal riots and that the criminal cases lodged against Muslims in connection with the communal riot in Bareilly in 2010 would be withdrawn. Far from any action on the above demands, over 100 incidents of communal violence have occurred during the 18-month-old SP regime,” said Maulana Tauqeer.
Accusing the Samajwadi Party government of betraying Muslims, he said “The people of UP had high hopes from the young chief minister Akhilesh Yadav – that he would herald a new era in the state, but he has disappointed people as he has no control over the officers of the police and the civil administration. This has created an anarchy-like situation in the state. If the Chief Minister had the ability and experience to run the administration, the situation in Muzaffarnagar would not have been so critical. The incompetence of CM Akhilesh Yadav in controlling the situation forced the Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh to take over the command of the state administration. I am not saying anything new – Mulayam Singh himself publicly criticised his son for failing to control law and order in the state.”