Is Hukum Singh being framed for the Muzaffarnagar violence?

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Hukum Singh, Photo courtesy: muzaffarnagar.nic.in/hukumsingh.htm
Hukum Singh, Photo courtesy: muzaffarnagar.nic.in

The district administration of Muzaffarnagar on Monday lodged criminal cases against senior BJP leader and former minister Hukum Singh for violating the prohibitory order and delivering provocative speeches, inciting communal violence in the district. Hukum Singh, along with three other BJP leaders allegedly delivered provocative speeches during the mahapanchayat on 7 September. Singh, leader of the BJP in the state assembly, has however denied the charge.

“Instead of penalising me for my so called provocative speech, the district administration should first explain how a gathering of over 1.5 lakh people was allowed at Nagla Mandaur, 20 km from Muzaffarnagar, despite the prohibitory orders in force in the entire district,” Singh said. “Why did the district administration allow thousands of vehicles and tractor trolleys from Haryana, Delhi and the neighbouring districts of UP to enter Muzaffarnagar and reach the venue of the mahapanchayat?”

He said that even after the enforcement of the prohibitory orders, the DGP of UP Devraj Nagar who was camping in Muzaffarnagar till the morning of 7 September and the DM and SSP of Muzaffarnagar, had issued a statement on 6 September that there were no restrictions on the mahapanchyat.

“How can both things happen simultaneously — prohibitory orders and the assembly of over 1.5 lakh people,” asked Singh. If despite the prohibitory orders, the district administration allowed the mahapanchyat, then they should have made adequate security arrangements and deployed forces. The lack of this led to the worst ever riot in the history of Muzaffarnagar, he said.

“I had spoken only for two minutes during the mahapanchyat on 7 September. I did not name any community or religion in my brief speech. If the district administration can show even a single inflammatory word in my speech, I will retire from politics,” said the BJP leader and MLA from Kairana in neighbouring Shamli district. Accusing the district administration of being partisan and ‘disconnected’ from the ground reality, Singh said that it was not him but the district magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police of Muzaffarnagar who had violated the prohibitory orders. Both these officials were on the dais at Khalapaar, a predominantly Muslim locality, where a public meeting attended by over 20,000 people was organised despite Section 144 that was enforced in the district, he said.

“The BSP MP Kadir Rana, Congress leader Saiduzzaman and Samajwadi Party leader Rashid Siddiqui, all rabble rousers had made highly provocative speeches on 30 August. The district police lodged an FIR at the Kotwali police station against the BSP MP and the Congress leader under Section 153 of IPC for spreading hatred between two communities, but the SP leader was spared  for reasons best known to them,” alleged Hukum Singh. The FIRs against the leaders of the opposition parties are being lodged by the district administration only to save the skin of the officials, Singh said.

Criticising the police action against the party leaders, the BJP leader said, “It’s a desperate act of a discredited government to frame me in false cases, now that they are facing all round condemnation for failure to curb the mayhem in Muzaffarnagar. The government has no other option left but to frame the leaders of the opposition parties to divert attention of the people.”

“Its absolute rubbish to blame communal or any other force for the worst ever riot in the history of Muzafarnagar district. I am the people’s elected representative for the last four decades and I am among the few BJP leaders who get the support of the minorities. You can’t expect anything better than this from beleaguered chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. To hide his utter failure and rank administrative incompetence, the only defense he has is to blame the communal forces,” Singh said. “I am ready to face any consequences. I am not going anywhere, I will wait for the police to arrest me and I am prepared to go to jail,” he added.

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