By Safi Nasim
Ever since Chief Minister Adityanath took over, the Uttar Pradesh police has been given free hand to carry out ‘encounters’ to terrorize and eliminate the minorities and opponents. Reportedly, more than 3,000 encounters resulting in killing of over 100 criminals has been reported by official figures. Interestingly, majority of the encounters were registered in Muslim and Dalit populated districts whereas, very few were reported from CM’s home turf district, i.e. Gorakhpur.
Reportedly, more than 150 people were booked under National Security Act (NSA)- most of them are Muslims. The data of people who have been bumped off include predominantly Muslims followed by Dalits, OBCs and weaker sections of the society, while the number of hardened criminals to be gunned down is actually low. They are also suppressing quarters that are not in line with the ruling party. Minorities and Dalits are feeling terrorized in Uttar Pradesh.
Local HR activists also argue that Yogi government is trying to prove that under Manuwadi doctrine, a large number of Muslims are a threat to National Security. The RSS and Hindu Nationalist parties do not think of Muslims and Dalits as part of the Hindu Rashtra project. In such an evolving atmosphere, imposition of National Security Act (NSA) in UP is meant to show Muslims as a threat to national security and consolidate vote banks locally on communal lines.
Moreover, the extremist Hindus are also expressing their dislike for Mahatma Gandhi (father of the Nation as well) as evident from recent activity by Puja Shakun Pandey (secretary of the Hindutva organization) who distributed sweets to commemorate the assassination of Gandhi and recreated the scene by shooting his effigy. The activity amply exposes the deep rooted Hindutva, hate politics and intolerance for other Hindus considered soft towards the minorities.
In the wake of increasing hue and cry over fake encounters/extra judicial killings, Indian National Human Rights Commission also took notice whereas, on the request of some victims’ families, Indian Supreme Court considered several such cases for hearing.
United Nations also expressed alarm about allegations of at least 50 extrajudicial killings by the police in UP under Yogi Adityanath government. According to a statement issued by the office of the High Commissioner for United Nations Human Rights (OHCHR), a panel of four experts from the UN namely Indian government on 15 cases concerning killings of Muslims communities.
As BJP/Hindu extremist groups are preparing for Indian elections 2019, reportedly, New Delhi is inclined to put ban on Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). It is reported that fifteen states and union territories (dominated by BJP/allies) have sought a fresh ban against the organization. It is pertinent to mention that SIMI top leadership Safdar Nagori and Abu Faisal etc, were convicted/put in different jails.
In the wake of increasing fake encounters and putting ban on SIMI, BJP/Hindu extremist parties are exposing their intents that Muslims will be targeted as an election campaign symbol and communal/ethnic violence will be used as a tool to terrorize the minorities.
The writer is a political analyst; views expressed by him are entirely his own.