New Delhi: 21 Jan 2015
The Social Democratic Party of India-SDPI, while condemning the recent riots in a village in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar wherein six people were reportedly burnt alive along with loss of properties, has termed it as a sinister design of the Hindutva forces to polarize the society in view of the fast approaching general elections in the state which are due later this year.
SDPI national president A. Sayeed in a statement charged that with the assembly elections round the corner in Bihar the communal forces want to polarize the society as usual and target the state and divide Muslims and Hindus. This is a well known strategy of the saffron brigade as it was witnessed in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In Bihar this conspiracy should be unwrapped well in advance for the people to see through the evil designs of the perpetrators before the votes are cast for the legislative assembly elections.
Sayeed urged the Bihar Chief Minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi that it is not enough to just suspend the police officials for dereliction of their duties in this incident but order a through probe into the incident to unmask the conspirators and, thereafter, take strict action against the culprits which would prove as a deterrent for others who may be warming up to such acts elsewhere in the state.
He demanded that ex-gratia relief to the aggrieved families should be at least Rs.22-25 lakh to the kin of dead while adequate compensation at market rate to the families whose houses and vehicles were burnt down to ashes.
It may be pointed out here that in a communal violence and arson at least six people were reportedly burnt alive and around 50 houses and several vehicles were set afire in the Muslim-dominated village at Azizpur village in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar. The incident took place after a 20-year-old Hindu boy’s body was found on Sunday last. He was allegedly abducted and killed over his love affair with a Muslim girl.
The statement pointed out that Bihar has seen more than 170 incidents of communal clashes since June 2013, when the BJP parted ways with the JD (U) government. That’s more than 10 incidents a month, nearly thrice the average of three-four when the parties were together.
Since Jeetan Ram Manjhi replaced Nitish Kumar as Chief Minister of Bihar in May 2014, there have been 38 cases of communal clashes. During Nitish’s seven-and-a-half years of the NDA government, the state had seen no major communal clash.
The rise in the number of violent incidents suggests that the JD U) government, which is now running without a cadre-based BJP, is not able to nip such incidents in the bud, unlike earlier, when leaders of the BJP would be asked to engage community leaders at the grassroots level. The clashes also reflect a growing distrust between the Hindus and Muslims now that they owe loyalty to different political parties.
Under Nitish, both the Muslims and Hindus had a stake in the NDA government and Hindu organizations did not dare embarrass the government. Now, even if organizations like the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal may not be directly involved, their aloofness from engaging communities at the grassroots level has made the task difficult for Manjhi, the statement added.