Close on the heels of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) distributing a magazine titled `Muzaffarnagar Danga’, the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an organisation of Indian Muslims in the United States, has released a 30-minute video, `Muzaffarnagar Bleeds’, terming the riots as “a re-enactment of the 2002 Gujarat riots” and blaming the Jats for the killings of Muslims.
The IAMC plans to distribute the video, uploaded on YouTube and Muslim news portals on January 1, across the country.
The video begins with the footage of burnt houses and shops purportedly of Muslims and has statements of alleged Muslim riot victims, both men and women.
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The video claims that 113 people, including 97 Muslims, died in the riots and that Muslims were driven out of 25 villages. Footage of dead bodies are also shown in the video.
The video also shows alleged riot victims narrating the killing of a two-month-old child and of a woman being set on fire with her four-month child. It also has stills of BJP leaders Hukum Singh, Sangeet Singh Som, Kunnwar Bhartendu Singh giving speeches.
When asked, IAMC justified uploading of such a video, saying political forces engineered the Muzaffarnagar riots in preparation for the elections in 2014.
IAMC vice-president Khalid Ansari, in an email, said: “Creating such awareness is aligned with our wider objective as an advocacy organisation dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos.”
He said the video was made with cooperation from Impact Media Group in India and from journalists working on the ground. He said the script was finalised by the IAMC.
Ansari said the video has been released through various portals and will also be sent to the mainstream media. “Our effort is to distribute it across India, including UP.”
On January 1, IAMC had written to CM Akhilesh Yadav that the Muzaffarnagar riots reflected his administration’s lack of commitment to uphold the rule of law and safeguard the life and property of every citizen.
Under attack, Mulayam, Akhilesh meet Muslim cleric, riot victims
Facing heat for allegedly ignoring the plight of riot-affected people in Muzaffarnagar, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Tuesday met a delegation led by a prominent Muslim cleric from the district that had accused officials of apathy.
Maulana Arshad Madni said they apprised the SP leaders of their grievances and have sought compensation as well as government jobs for the kin of those missing.
The delegation also alleged they were not getting any help from local officials. Both Mulayam and Akhilesh assured them that their demands will be looked into.
“We appreciate what the state has done for the victims…. We, however, have some demands such as compensation and government jobs for the kin of missing people as well, just as it was announced for those who died…” Madni, who led the delegation, told reporters.
“If these demands are also met, it will be of great help to the victims,” he said.
Alleging that politics was being done on the issue, he said Muzaffarnagar riots took place due to the failure of the local administration. He claimed officials were shirking from their responsibilities and indulging in blame game. Ashu Malik, a minister of state and who was part of the delegation, said “we are here because the victims wanted to meet Mulayam and Akhilesh and tell them about their problems,” Malik said.
During the meeting, the victims informed the two leaders that they were “still receiving threats” and blamed the Shamli district administration, while also taking names of some officials who, allegedly, are not helping them.
The state has been under attack from the opposition for alleged mishandling of Muzaffarnagar riots and ignoring the riot victims who have been living in relief camps since the violence erupted in September last year.
SIT identifies 22 rape accused
The Special Investigation Team probing Muzaffarnagar riots has identified 22 out of 27 accused in six gangrape cases in Phugana village here and has asked the local police to arrest them. Cases were registered against 27 people separately, out of which 22 have been identified by the SIT and remaining five are under investigation, police said. Six women lodged complaints that they were gangraped during the clash and their houses were burnt by rioters, police said. The rape victims were produced in court, they said. However, none of the accused has been arrested so far as they are absconding, police said.
(With PTI inputs)