A list of 346 ‘Hindus’ that BJP MP Hukum Singh claimed had left Kairana in western UP over “threats and extortion by criminal elements belonging to a particular community (read Muslims)” has quite a few discrepancies, an investigation by The Indian Express has found.
While it does have names of some who have left alleging harassment by “gangs”, the list includes names of people who have died, of those who left Kairana more than 10 years ago and still others who say that they migrated for a better school for their children or a better job.
The Indian Express tracked down 22 people who figure in Singh’s list and found five had died, four had moved out of Kairana looking for better opportunities, 10 left more than 10 years ago, three had moved fearing “local criminals”.
Told about these discrepancies, Singh said, “I have received complaints that some names in the list are of people who moved out of Kairana a while ago. Tomorrow, I will personally conduct verification of all addresses. Party workers will go to each of these addresses. I will provide an additional list.”
A report on 118 names submitted Monday by the Uttar Pradesh police and the Shamli district administration, who are checking on names in Singh’s list, found similar patterns: five dead, 12 still present, 46 moved out since 2011, 55 moved out at least 6-11 years ago.
The Indian Express checked on these names from the MP’s list:
* Vijay Jain died nearly ten years ago. Son Deepak Jain has been living in Saharanpur for the last five years. “Vijay Jain is survived by three sons and a daughter. Deepak lives in Saharanpur with his family. None of the children live here anymore. It has been more than five years since they moved out of Kairana,” Sadhana Jain, a relative, said.
* Praveen Jain, brother of Vijay Jain, used to run an aerated drinks agency in Saravagyan area of Kairana. “They moved out of Kairana in August 2015. His son Amit Jain, daughter-in-law and wife moved to Baraut. People moved out in search of a safer place and better economic opportunities,” Sadhana Jain said.
* Arjun Kumar, Navin Kumar and Banwari. Arjun and Navin are brothers. Their grandfather Banwari died in 1993. The list claims that Banwari is Arjun and Navin Kumar’s brother.
“Arjun my cousin. He lives in Delhi now. He moved out of Kairana around 15 years ago along with Navin. Navin still lives in Panipat. Arjun later shifted to Delhi. They deal in cosmetics. There are no jobs in Kairana. Even I have been trying to get a job as a teacher elsewhere,” said Abhishek Kumar, cousin of Arjun and Navin.
* Mangeram Prajapati died in 2001. “A dog bit him and he got rabies. He died in 2001. I do not know how his name appeared in the list of people who fled Kairana. He was a potter,” said daughter-in-law Kavita Prajapati.
* Ishwarchand (Billu): son of Padam Prasad, runs an aerated drinks agency in Kairana’s Chowk Bazar Market, moved to Panipat. “In August 2014, members of the Mukeem Kala gang called me and demanded extortion money. I took my family and moved to Panipat after that. I have to come here to run my business. But the fear of losing one’s life is still there,” Ishwarchand said.
Members of Mukeem Kala gang, who faced charges of murder and extortion, were arrested in October 2015.
* Brothers Abhay Kumar (32) and Vijay Kumar (30) moved to Surat a year ago. The family used to run a retail store in Chowk Bazar, Kairana. J K Mittal, their uncle, said: “The environment here was not very conducive for business. Cases of extortion and murder used to take place till about two years ago. This shop was closed for nearly a year. Things are better now. I returned to Kairana from Kolkata where I worked for a private firm. My nephews are now part of the textile industry in Surat.”
* Blacksmith Jaypal Singh, son of Hari Singh, moved out of Kairana 15-20 years ago. “He moved to Panipat in search of work along with his sons some 15-20 years ago,” said Dheeraj Singh, Jaypal’s brother.
* Narendra, Surendra and Goti, sons of Sitaram Lohar. They no longer live in Kairana. A plot that once belonged to Surendra is now owned by Congress leader Alam Choudhary. “From what we know, Surendra passed away around 8-10 years ago. Narendra lives in Panipat while Goti lives in Delhi’s Shahdara area,” Alam said.
* Sunil, Satish, Sonu and Rohtas Prajapati, sons of Mangeram. All potters. “All of them moved to Panipat around 12-15 years ago. They moved for better jobs. Two of them work in factories and the other two in shops,” said a relative who now resides on their property.
* Jaikumar Dhiman and Poni Dhiman, daily wagers. “Jaykumar moved to Modi Nagar around 20 years ago and works as a carpenter at a factory there. Poni also moved out of Kairana around 20-22 years ago. He now lives in Shahdara. Both went looking for jobs,” said Dhanprakash Dhiman, their brother.
* Bharat, son of Gandhi Jat, driver. Bharat died around 15 years ago. “After his death, the family sold the property and moved out,” said family acquaintance Dhanprakash.