As the BJP’s Parivartan Yatra rolled into communally sensitive western Uttar Pradesh, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh raised the pitch Monday, saying the “self-respect of mothers and sisters is being looted” in the region. He said if the BJP is voted to power in the state, it will act against “those using muscle power to terrorise people… hum dekhenge ki usne kitna ma ka doodh piya hai”.
Speaking in Kairana, whose BJP MP Hukum Singh had accused Muslims of forcing Hindus to migrate, the Home Minister said: “Kya halat ho gayi hai yahan par? Mataon aur behno ki asmat looti ja rahi hai. People are being framed in false cases.”
Promising to “probe and withdraw the false cases” after the “formation of our government”, Singh said: “Jo gundagardi ke aadhaar par logon ke dilon mein dehshat paida karne ka kaam karta hai, behno aur bhaiyon, Bharatiya Janata Party ki sarkar ke aane ke baad, hum dekhenge ki usne kitna ma ka doodh piya hai.”
The BJP slogan in the region is “Ma behno ki aan mein, BJP maidan mein” — a tone that clearly insinuates at the threats faced by Hindus. Today, the Home Minister underlined that the Centre is committed to protect “maan, samman aur swabhiman.”
Minutes earlier, Hukum Singh said that whenever he raised the issue of the exodus of Hindus, “secular” people said he was “communal”. To protect the lives of these people, he said, “I am ready to become communal.”
He said he was “happy that my party fully supported me” on the issue. “The Home Minister called me repeatedly to know about the situation and party president Amit Shahji said, ‘let the time come, if our government is formed, it will stop the exodus, and ensure the exodus of those who force people to migrate, they will not be allowed to live in UP’,” he said.
Kairana is the second stop of the BJP Parivartan Yatra launched from Saharanpur last Saturday. It has been at the centre of a row ever since Hukum Singh alleged Hindus were being coerced to migrate. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and National Commission for Minorities (NCM) have differed on the situation in Kairana, relying on ground reports of their respective teams.
In September, the NHRC sought a report from the UP government on the action taken over its team’s findings and recommendations. Referring to Muslims as a “majority” community in Kairana and Hindus as “minority”, the NHRC said resettlement of 25,000-30,000 Muslims in Kairana changed its demography “in favour of the Muslim community”. Its report indirectly blamed Muslims, saying many families migrated due to “threats pertaining to increase in crime and deterioration of law and order situation”.
But in October, the NCM team said nothing was done for the rehabilitation of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riot-hit families, forcing them to live in pathetic conditions. The NCM team also contested the NHRC findings, saying how could riot victims change the demography of Kairana where Muslims were already the majority community. It dismissed the claim of forced exodus, saying people migrated in search of a better life, education and jobs. NCM team members also said they did not find any material on the ground to corroborate the NHRC claims.
In his speech Monday, Rajnath Singh also targeted Pakistan. “Our neighbouring country Pakistan wants to weaken India, disintegrate India… I went to Pakistan a few months ago. Pakistan ki dharti par jaa kar maine seena thok kar kaha you promote terrorism.”
“Pakistan was incensed,” he said, adding that the Pakistan Home Minister left leaders of other countries who had been invited for lunch. “I told my officers that I have not come to Pakistan to eat,” he said, adding that he too left the venue without eating.
Reminding people about the Uri terror attack, Singh said the “youths of our Army have the ability” that if the challenge of terrorism is thrown at them then “yadi seema laangh kar bhi kuch karne ki jaroorat padi, toh hamare sena ke jawano mein woh dum hai ki woh bhi kar ke dikha denge”.
While “we want to have cordial relations with our neighbours,” he said, “terrorism is not a weapon of the brave, but of cowards. If you want to fight, have a direct fight. There should be no hide-and-seek”.
BJP MLA Suresh Rana spoke of his meeting with a Colonel who, he claimed, told him “earlier, when we fired a bullet, 100 pages had to be written. From where did the terrorist come? What was his length and breadth? But now we fire 100 bullets and write just one sentence — permission from Rajnath Singh.”