Updated: July 9, 2015 5:39:38 am
Subrat Pathak, who allegedly incited a mob of Hindu men that clashed with Muslims in Kannauj on Sunday, was appointed a member in Indian Council of Agricultural Research by the Narendra Modi government on June 2.
Associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for long, Subrat became the BJP’s youngest district president at the age of 26 when the party gave him the charge of Kannauj in 2006.
In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he had unsuccessfully contested against Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav from the parliamentary seat of Kannauj, repeating his performance from 2009 elections when he had lost to Akhilesh. On both occasions, (then chief minister of Gujarat) Narendra Modi had actively campaigned in his support and had even addressed public meetings on his behalf.
The BJP leader claims he “inherited” the “nationalist ideology” from his father, Om Prakash Pathak, who himself was associated with the RSS. Om Prakash is currently the president of Kannauj’s ‘Attar and Perfumers Association’ and runs the ancestral business of manufacturing perfume started by his grandfather in 1911. Subrat’s mother Saroj Pathak is currently the chairman of Kannauj Nagar Palika.
Subrat received both the primary and secondary education from RSS-run schools, Saraswati Shishu Mandir and Saraswati Vidya Mandir, respectively. For his graduation, Subrat attended the PSM Degree College in Kannauj and it was here that he first joined ABVP and even contested the students’ union election. He later became the district president of BJP Yuva Morcha before being appointed as the party’s Kannauj president.
Party’s sitting Kannauj president Narendra Rajpoot says that Subrat is “a dedicated worker of the BJP and remains active in all the events organised by the party”.
Sources in the BJP say that when Mayawati became the chief minister in 2007, Subrat was offered to join her party, some senior leaders of which happened to be his relatives. Subrat, however, refused.
“I refused to leave BJP because I had been associated with its nationalist ideology from a very young age,” said Subrat who claims to be a relative of BSP national general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Satish Chandra Mishra besides being “a close friend” of former health minister of Uttar Pradesh, Anant Mishra.
When asked about his role in Sunday’s communal clash in Kannauj, Subrat said: “I am a Hindu leader so whenever I help any poor, needy Hindu or try to protect him from atrocities of people from other religion, opposition groups start accusing me of instigating communal riots. In case of the recent clash, I have to say that I was not involved in the matter. I passed through that area of Kachehary Tola after the clash but I did not stay there. I passed from there only because that area falls in the route to my home.”
The BJP leader admits to being “aware of the dispute” between Satish Chandra Gupta and Imran Warsi and wanted to settle the issue through talks because he knew both the families. “But the clash occurred even before I could intervene.”
While the police do not cite any “direct allegation” against Subrat, Kannauj Additional Superintendent of Police S C Shakya said they are still probing his presence at the spot when the violence took place and which he allegedly helped flare up.
A complaint filed by the SHO of City Kotwali police station, Bhullan Yadav, also mentions that Subrat allegedly incited the group and was present when the violence took place.
Even though he is not named as an accused, the complaint notes that Subrat, too, indulged in firing.
Clash between Hindus and Muslims took place in Kannauj on Sunday after Imran Warsi asked his tenant Satish Chandra Gupta to vacate the shop which the latter was renting. The police have arrested BJP’s district vice-president Vir Singh Bhadauriya and have also registered an FIR against city president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Chhotu Yadav for inciting the violence.