Monday, August 24, 2015

Bihar Polls: Three-Fold Surge in ‘Communal Incidents’ In Bihar after BJP-JD (U) Parted Ways: Has Nitish Government Lost Control over Police?

By Appu Esthose Suresh
Aug 21, 2015
Since June 2013, when the two parties split and up to just a month ago, in the run-up to the Assembly elections, “communal incidents” number has surged to 667.
A mob gathers in Jehanabad on June 25 after a land dispute led to clashes.
Since January 2010, for the last three and a half years that the BJP and Janata Dal (United) were together in power, there were 226 “communal incidents” across Bihar — incidents where Hindus and Muslims, the two largest religious groups in the state, were pitted against each other. Each incident was recorded by the local police station and classified as “communal”.
But since June 2013, when the two parties split and up to just a month ago, in the run-up to the Assembly elections, that number has surged to 667.
This is among the key findings of a two-month investigation by The Indian Express of police records from 38 districts of the state and a journey criss-crossing the 18 districts that account for more than 70 per cent of these incidents.
Most of these incidents are clashes sparked off by clearly deliberate triggers: dumping of animal parts in places of worship (pigs near mosques, beef near temples); provocative sloganeering during processions passing through Muslim-majority neighbourhoods; and communalisation of even trivial incidents such as a dispute during a cricket match as to who was hit by a ball; vandalisation of idols.
Mapping the Surge in Bihar: Tension in Areas Where BJP Made Big Electoral Gains
By Appu Esthose Suresh
 Aug 21, 2015
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 18 of the 23 seats from the 18 districts that The Indian Express visited.
Security forces stage a march in Bihar’s Jehanabad district on June 27 during a shutdown called by the VHP in protest against police firing two days earlier to defuse tension surrounding a land dispute between Hindus and Muslims. (Source: PTI)
The almost three-fold spike in “communal incidents” after the BJP-JD(U) ruling alliance broke up on June 18, 2013, with both Hindus and Muslims listed as instigators, assumes political significance in Bihar during an election year especially when the BJP has shown significant gains across the state. Indeed, in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 18 of the 23 seats from the 18 districts that The Indian Express visited. Its allies LJP and RLSP won two seats each from these districts, with only Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Nalanda going to the JD (U).
Both sides see a potential harvest in these seeds of discord: the BJP uses the surge in these incidents to argue, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi did in his Saharsa rally this week, that law and order has collapsed in the state. The Bihar unit of BJP also claims the ruling political dispensation is biased and indulges in Muslims appeasement. The JD (U) and Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, however, lay the blame on the BJP’s door alleging that the incidents are part of its strategy to consolidate the “Hindu vote”.
Whatever may be the motive; records show that most of these cases were defused just before they erupted into large-scale violence. “We have been lucky,” said a senior police officer in the Police Headquarters. “Any one could have snowballed into a riot with deaths and arson.”
An Analysis Of The Surge And Its Geography Also Reveals Interesting Patterns:
* A majority of the communal incidents since June 2013 — 418 or 62.6% — were recorded in 24 districts where the Muslim population is below the state average of 16.5%. This, JD(U) leaders claim, shows that the BJP is working to polarise the community and, thereby, consolidate the Hindu vote.
* In these 24 districts in the last Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 22 seats. In the previous elections, when it contested as a partner of JD (U), it won 12 seats across Bihar out of 15 it contested by itself. Three seats out of the 12 won by the BJP in 2009 — Katihar, Araria and Purnea — have the highest concentration of Muslims in the state, 43%, 41% and 37% respectively, and also fall in a belt that shows the lowest number of communal incidents in June 2013-June 2015. In the 2014 election, these seats were won by RJD, NCP and JD(U).
* In fact, the BJP bagged 18 seats and its allies won four seats out of the 23 seats where more than 70% of the communal incidents are concentrated.
* The communal incidents are spreading: Four districts, Munger, Supaul, Madhepura and Lakhisarai, which saw zero incidents from January 2010- June 2013, witnessed more than five incidents a year in June 2013 and June 2015 — a total of 39. In 19 districts that recorded fewer than three incidents in January 2010- June 2013, more than 10 incidents were recorded in the following two years during June 2013- June 15.
* An indicator of how polarised the community is, is evident in the manner in which seemingly trivial incidents — including “eve teasing”, cricket match dispute — acquire a communal colour after a flare-up. An analysis of police records shows that there were 92 trivial incidents in the three-and-a-half years between January 2010 and June 18, 2013, and it went up to 427 in the following two years between June 2013 and June 2015. During the same period, January 2010-June 18, 2013, 19 incidents of eve-teasing acquired communal colour. But, in the following two years till June 2015, eve-teasing became the basis of 145 communal clashes.
Says JD (U) president Sharad Yadav: “The elections will be held around Durga Puja and Muharram; we may see a harvesting season of communal violence. This is what made us break our ties with the BJP because we realised they want to plant seeds of partition again.”
This is propaganda, says BJP’s Bihar chief and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi. Asked to comment on the police data on “communal incidents”, Sushil Modi said that these showed that the government has lost its grip over the state.
“It has nothing to do with the break-up. Basically, what has happened after the split is that the present government has lost control over the police administration. The normal crime rate has also gone up, so it is not just communal incidents,” Modi told The Indian Express.
“After the alliance break-up, Nitish Kumar has devoted himself to political management. So the major reason for the rise in communal incidents is a lack of governance,” he said.
On the ground, meanwhile, none of the nearly 100 police officers of various ranks, starting from those in charge of local stations that The Indian Express met during this investigation agreed to speak on record, while state DGP P K Thakur did not respond to requests seeking comment.
But many admitted privately that what was really worrying them was how some districts, such as Jehanabad, Rohtas, Saran, Nalanda, Gopalganj and Aurangabad, which recorded stray communal incidents in 2010-12, saw a spike after the BJP-JD(U) split.
Of these, Jehanabad is the political bastion of Jitan Ram Manjhi, the Mahadalit leader, a former JD (U) chief minister and now a BJP ally. Between June 25 and 27 this year, Jehanabad, where 18.95% of the population are Dalit — the state average is 15.72% — witnessed its first major communal riot. Saran in Chhapra is the bastion of of RJD chief Lalu Prasad; and Nalanda of Nitish Kumar. And this is where The Indian Express focused on in the first part of this investigation.
Fault Lines In Nitish, Manjhi, Lalu Backyard
Aug 21, 2015
Nalanda: Neem Trees, Beef Wrapped In Plastic
To understand what went wrong in Nalanda, you need to travel through a narrow lane to reach Khasganj in the middle of town.
About 100 metres into the lane, you will come across a Shiva temple on the left and the one-room house of Mohan Pandit, a 45-year-old tailor and potter, on the right. Then, after you negotiate the narrow turns that lie ahead, with houses spilling over to the road leaving little space for vehicles to pass by, you will come across a mosque.
The handful of “communal incidents” recorded in this neighbourhood of Yadavs, Muslims and Paswans from 2010 to June 2013 were mainly triggered by Muharram procession flags allegedly brushing the lower branches of two Neem trees, which stand next to the mosque and are considered “sacred” by the Hindus. “Every year, during Muharram, we would cover the branches so that the procession flags do not touch them,” said a police officer.
But all that changed in four days spread over a year. On November 16, 2013 and October 18, 2014, pieces of beef were hurled into the Shiva temple.
“It was placed in a polythene cover the second time. We don’t know who did it. But senior police officers came and controlled the situation,” said Pandit, the tailor who stays opposite the temple.
And on July 22, 2014 and October 26, 2014, unidentified pieces of bones and cowdung were found splattered on the walls of the mosque.
”The district administration rushed to hold peace meetings and reduce the tension,” said a police officer.
Police records trace the source of the communal tension to an incident on July 16, 2013, when Hindus, with the support of local religious leaders, objected to construction of a wall by Muslims in a vacant land near the mosque.
That was 28 days after the BJP and JD (U) parted ways.
Jehanabad: How VHP Bandh Set the Ball Rolling
In 1997, Jehanabad witnessed the infamous Batan Tola massacre in which 61 Dalits, including an 11-month-old baby and an 80-year-old woman, were brutally killed by the Bhumihar-led Ranvir Sena.
Eighteen years later, it took just three days to topple the balance of caste that had ruled political equations in this district over the years. And that happened from June 25-27, as a VHP bandh quickly escalated into the district’s first full-scale communal riot.
While police records point to the involvement of VHP activists in stoking communal passions, what was significant was the leading role played by members of the Dom community in the violence against Muslims.
The Doms are one of the 18 groups tagged as Mahadalits in Bihar, and the district is part of the belt that has the highest concentration of Dalits in the state.
Police records show that the riot was sparked by the fencing of land on one side of the Suhyi Ghat, about 100m from the local temple and a popular site along the Dardha River for the traditional Chhath Puja.
Police said tensions were simmering ever since rumours began circulating in May about the construction of a mosque on a patch of land that surfaced near the ghat after the river changed course.
”While the Doms staked their claim to land as the graveyard of their ancestors, Muslims sought to fence it, forcing the administration to declare it as ‘no-man’s land’,” a local police officer said.
”On June 23, a few Muslims attempted to fence the land, triggering clashes. When the police tried to intervene, a mob chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans attacked them. On June 25, mobs forced Muslim shops to pull down their shutters in Raja Bazaar, leading to a scuffle and then a riot that lasted for three days,” he added.
“Whoever has done wrong should be punished,” said Mukesh Pathak, who lives next to Suhyi Ghat. “Attacking police was wrong, but we should look at the cause.”
What led police to conclude that the riots were planned was a curious fact: all the lathis recovered from rioters and from various parts of the city were of the same size.
Saran: A DJ Takes On Pakistan with Slogans
In February last year, eight activists of the Bajrang Dal were named in an FIR by police for inciting communal violence in Saran’s Kopa Basdila, in the middle of Lalu Prasad’s political base. The FIR was registered after clashes, involving around 1,000 people, erupted on February 2 after the DJ accompanying a Hindu procession started shouting provocative slogans against Pakistan.
Local police said that since 2013, the DJ has also been playing audio clips from a YouTube video showing a teenage girl, clad in saffron robes with a white tilak on her forehead, taunting Pakistan in a 3-minute-long diatribe.
They also claimed that when the procession passes through a Muslim neighbourhood, the DJ plays anti-Pakistan dialogues from Bollywood movies, particularly of those starring Sunny Deol.
It was in this neighbourhood, on Gaffar Khan Road, that The Indian Express met Haji Fazale Rab Khan, in his 80s. “We have been living peacefully here for years. We attend Hindu festivals and they come over to my home during Eid. But in the last few years, some lumpen elements have suddenly emerged, and started provoking people and vitiating the atmosphere,” Khan said.
“Are we not Indians? Why do they shout ‘Pakistan Murdabad’ when they pass by our Masjid or neighbourhood?” he asked.
“We still have a cordial relationship with Muslims,” said Rai Bahur Sah, one of the Bajrang Dal activists named in the FIR. “They (Muslims) are opposed to the formation of Bajrang Dal and that is why they named us in the complaint. The problem started when Muslims opposed the procession,” he added.
Asked about the provocative slogans raised by the DJ, Sah said, “Why should they get angry? The slogans were against Pakistan. In fact, they should join us in raising the slogans.”
Carcass In Mosque, Idols Defaced: How Communal Pot Is Kept Boiling In Bihar
By Appu Esthose Suresh
Aug 22, 2015
Police records in Bihar show ways in which communal pot was kept boiling
In clashes since the BJP-JD (U) split, triggers show a trend: animal parts in places of worship, vandalism and revival of disputes long forgotten
From throwing carcasses of animals in places of worship to digging up buried issues, police records in Bihar have listed a variety of ways in which communal tension appears to have been deliberately kept on the boil ever since the BJP-JD(U) ruling coalition split on June 18, 2013.
The Indian Express examined these records during a journey through 18 districts in western Bihar that witnessed nearly 70% of the “communal incidents” recorded since June 2013. And found four visible strands running through the 667 “communal incidents” recorded since June 2013:
The Carcass: How 2 Villages Flared Up In 11 Days
Until the second half of 2013, Chakmajahid and Bhanpur Brewa, villages 40 minutes apart in Vaishali and with a significant Muslim presence, were not tagged by police as communally sensitive. Then, two incidents within 11 days changed everything.
On September 19 that year, the carcass of a pig was found inside a mosque under construction in Bhanpur Brewa, a hamlet of Muslims and Dalits (Vaishali has the highest density of Dalits in north Bihar at 20.68%).
On September 30, scores of Hindus and Muslims pelted stones at each other following an alleged incident of cow slaughter in the Yadav-dominated Chakmajahid.
The temperature rose again in Chakmajahid on July 31, 2014, when posters appeared on the wall of a mosque with this expletive-ridden line: “….. Kasai gai katna bandh karo” (Butchers stop killing cows). Incidentally, VHP leader Pravin Togadia was in Mahua, 5 km from Chakmajahid, on May 28, 2015, to address a rally organised by the Gau Pushtikaran Sanghathan.
Mohammed Inulhaq, who is in his 80s and lives near the mosque in Bhanpur Brewa, said the discovery of the carcass was the first such incident of its kind in the village in his memory. “There was a lot of tension, but I broke that by asking police to remove the carcass and three feet of soil from that spot. The difficulty was in making others from the village understand,” he said. “This was the first time we (Hindus and Muslims) looked at each other with suspicion,” he added.
In Chakmajahid, Mohammed Avid, sitting on a charpoy outside his house opposite the mosque, recalled that the inflammatory posters “were all over the wall”. “We first saw them when we went for morning Namaz. We informed the police after which senior officers came and pacified the crowd,” he said.
Since then, the daily roster of the Mahua police station contains the same opening entry: patrol Chakmajahid.
Postscript: The Moradabad riots in 1980, believed to have been the most violent in the state after 1947, were triggered after a pig was let loose inside a mosque. The Provincial Armed Constabulary refused to remove it, leading to clashes. Official records pegged the number of deaths at 400 although over 3,000 were unofficially tagged as dead.
The Procession: 50m Away, Route Was Tweaked
Muzaffarpur’s Baigni village is separated from the nearest police station in Katra by a wobbly bamboo bridge over the Bagmati river and a 7-km dirt track. To reach Baigni, police cross the bridge on foot and get into a jeep outside a hut on the other side.
It was through this route that they rushed to the village on May 21, 2014, when the annual Mahaviri Jhanda procession ended in the first “communal incident” here.
According to police records, the procession was threading its way out of Baigni chowk towards the destination, or Jhanda Sthal, when the organisers revealed they were tweaking the route to move past the local mosque. The original route would have had the procession turn into a road 50 metres from the mosque. And the new twist ended in stone-throwing and violence.
According to police sources, the organisers had planned a repeat on May 21 this year for the procession coming from Darbhanga with “holy water” but were foiled by the district administration. “They insisted on taking the route next to the mosque but we did not allow it since they did not have the licence,” said a police source.
Today, patrolling in Baigni has become a permanent daily fixture on the police duty roster.  Police sources said that “mobilisation around the Saraswati Puja and Mahavir jhanda processions has increased” in all the 18 districts that The Indian Express visited.
The Defaced Idol: A Cut Nose and Country-Made Guns
Aurangabad’s Daudnagar, named after Daud Khan, the local general of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb, was one of the four spots in the state where a Hanuman idol was defaced the night before November 4, 2014. That 3-m idol, which stands on a one-foot-wide strip next to Ranji Prasad’s general store in Churi Bazar, is painted in dark red, so dark that it was almost invisible around 8 pm when The Indian Express reached the spot.
Also read: Bloodstains in temple, carcass in graveyard and processions of hate
“Around 4 am that day, some devotees found the idol’s nose missing. The suspicion fell on Muslims who had taken out a Muharram procession the previous night,” said Prasad. “The devotees questioned the Muslims and that led to violence involving country-made guns and bombs.”
Records at the Daudnagar police station match Prasad’s account and state that a curfew was imposed in Daudnagar for three days following the incident.
The graveyard: Dead disputes get new life
Apart from throwing carcasses in places of worship, tweaking procession routes and defacing idols, another method of inciting communal tension in Bihar has been the recent widening of existing fault lines.
Look at what happened in Phulwariya village, in Motihari’s Dhaka, near the Nepal border. Police records, endorsed by residents, state that an undercurrent of communal tension has existed here since 1957 when a dispute first arose over the presence of a small temple, or Brahmasthan, in the middle of a Quabristan (graveyard for Muslims)
Hindus and Muslims have been offering prayers at the location without incident since the 1980s. Then April 26, 2015, happened.
That day, a 24-hour Puja was organised at the Brahmasthan as thanksgiving after a youth cleared the recruitment exam for a government job. This led to tension between the communities, with the district administration trying to defuse the situation by suggesting a permanent fence to separate the sites. But local MLA Pawan Jaiswal cited a 1957 court order to block the move.
The graveyard lies adjacent to the home of Jaiswal, who quit the JD(U) recently to join the BJP. “I did not want to take sides,” said Jaiswal. “All I said was there is a court order that says there should be no fencing. It should be decided by the elders of both communities. One side did not agree to my suggestions, I will not name that side. But I have averted at least 10 riots by pacifying the Hindu community in the last two years.”
Asked about the recent incident, Jaiswal said: “There was no communal riot, it was a minor incident. But there was definitely a political conspiracy to drag me into it so that my secular image is tarnished. Since I became an MLA, I have fenced 17 Quabristans,” said Jaiswal.
If it was a 48-year-old dispute that was rekindled in Phulwariya, what’s been revived in Silaon, on the way to Rajgir in Nalanda, is a dispute that dates back to 1932. The tussle in Silaon, a village with less than 20% Muslims, involves a temple located in one corner of a four-acre graveyard. On January 11, 2015, Hindus living on the edge of the land clashed with Muslims who tried to avail a government scheme to fence the graveyard.
“We’ve never had an issue with our neighbours,” said Mohammed Sajad Alam of Silaon. “It is unfortunate. But I also understand that we have to live together.”
Mohan Kumar, another resident, suggested that the pot was still boiling. “Our road to the temple goes through the Quabristan. How will we go there if they fence it? Why doesn’t the government think about Hindus?” he said.
The records indicate a coordinated pattern: 80 incidents of communal tension related to procession routes were recorded between January 2013 and June 2015
Pieces of animal carcass and bones dumped in places of worship, religious processions through communally sensitive areas and attempts to redraw old fault lines. The poll pot may have begun to boil in Bihar, but what’s been really bubbling in the state since the JD(U) and BJP split on June 18, 2013 is a series of deliberate attempts to polarise the atmosphere on communal lines.
According to police records accessed by The Indian Express, the number of “communal instances” related to disruptions in places of worship, vandalising of idols, and disputes over land linked to graveyards, temples and mosques, was just 37 between January 2010 and June 18, 2013.
But since then — until June 30, 2015 — it jumped nearly four times to 139.
The records also indicate a coordinated pattern: 80 incidents of communal tension related to procession routes were recorded between January 2013 and June 2015, nearly three times the number (30) between January 2010 and December 2012.
Besides, these incidents also include what appears to be deliberate attempts to revive fault lines — in one village in Nalanda, a 83-year-old dispute involving a temple bordering a graveyard came alive this January.
If the big picture was to be encapsulated in one line, it’s this: four Hanuman idols were vandalised in four corners of the state — Aurangabad, Muzaffarpur, Nawada and Bhagalpur — on the same night, before November 4, 2014, the day Muslims marked Muharram that year.
Animal Parts In Temples, Mosques
Aug 14, 2013, Sathi PS, Bettiah: Carcass of a pig found in a Muslim graveyard.
Aug 14, 2013, Dhaka PS, Motihari: Pig carcass found in Muslim graveyard.
Dec 10, 2013, Naubatpur PS, Patna: Hanuman idol found garlanded with pieces of beef.
Mar 3, 2014, Town PS, Kishanganj: Bloodstains of bovine animal in the vicinity of Kali temple.
Mar 16, 2014, Chandauti PS, Gaya: Burning pieces of unknown object thrown inside the premises of mosque by motorcyclists.
Aug 23, 2014, Bhabhua PS, Kaimur: Bloodstained feathers of fowl thrown inside the premises of a temple.
Oct 6, 2014, Town PS, Kishanganj: On Bakrid, a piece from a cow’s leg found near Uttarpali Kali temple.
Oct 10, 2014, Khijarsarai PS, Gaya: Bone of bovine animal thrown at the doorstep of Hanuman temple.
Nov 30, 2014, Bahadurganj PS, Kishanganj: Head of dead cow found behind a temple.
Apr 1, 2015, Sheikpura: Piece of beef found in Shiva temple.
Feb 9, 2014, Chainpur PS, Kaimur: Clothes of Hindu goddess removed and placed outside the temple.
Mar 12-13, 2014, Khijarsarai PS, Gaya: Female deity and shivling damaged.
June 5, 2014, Karpi PS, Arwal: Boundary wall of idgah damaged.
Oct 25, 2014, Barari PS, Katihar: Kali temple in Rajapakar vandalised.
Nov 3-4, 2014, Mehasi PS, Motihari: Hanuman idol damaged, stone-pelting between two communities during tazia procession.
Nov 3, 2014, Lodipur, Bhagalpur: Goddess Kali temple vandalised.
Nov 4, 2014, Kudhani PS, Muzaffarpur: Tension after Hindus accuse Muslims of damaging Hanuman idols.
Nov 4-5, 2014, Pakribaran PS, Nawada: Stone-pelting between groups after Hanuman idol is partially damaged.
Nov 10-11, 2014, Bariyarpur PS, Munger: Idols of Ram-Laxman and Hanuman damaged.
Nov 11, 2014, Durgawati PS, Kaimur: Statue of Shiva temple stolen.
Read full investigation here: BIHAR SIMMERS BEFORE POLLS
Provocative Processions
Feb 5, 2014, Mahishi PS, Saharsa: Stone-pelting between the two communities over Saraswati idol immersion procession.
March 2, 2014, Pakribarawan PS, Nawada: Shivaratri procession leads  to communal clashes over diversion of predetermined route.
Sept 7, 2014, Badhariya PS, Siwan: Tension after Mahaviri Akhada procession passes in front of mosque in Chainchapra village at the time of namaz.
Sept 18, 2014, Kajraili PS, Bhagalpur: Immersion procession of Vishwakarma idol is opposed by Muslims as it passes through Kajrali village.
Sept 19, 2014, Manigachhi PS, Darbhanga: Clashes after stones are pelted at Vishwakarma procession.
Oct 6, 2014, Uchkagaon PS, Gopalganj: Unknown people pelt stones at Mahaviri Akhada procession as it passes by Nawada Parsauni mosque, triggering clashes.
Oct 25, 2014, Sahar PS, Bhojpur: Immersion procession of Goddess Lakshmi stopped in Sahar Bazar.
Nov 4, 2014, Jainagar PS, Madhubani: Stone-pelting over tazia procession route.
Nov 4, 2014, Sindhwalia PS, Gopalganj: Immersion procession of Goddess Durga opposed by Muslims.
Nov 15, 2014, Nanpur PS, Sitamarhi: Stones pelted at Mahaviri Jhanda procession in Pokhra village.
Nothing To Do With Break-Up, Nitish Government Has Lost Control Over Police, Says Sushil Modi
By Appu Esthose Suresh
22 August 2015
Bihar’s BJP chief Sushil Kumar tells Appu Esthose Suresh that the major reason for the rise in number of communal incidents in Bihar is a lack of governance.
Police records show that since the BJP-JD(U) alliance broke up in 2013, the number of communal incidents in Bihar has tripled. What are your comments?
It has nothing to do with the break-up. Basically, what has happened after the split is that the present government has lost control over the police administration. The normal crime rate has also gone up, so it is not just communal incidents.
In fact, general lawlessness has gone back to the 2005 period, when the progressive alliance took over the reigns from the RJD. Look at the rate of cognisable offences, rapes, dacoities — all these have seen an increase. After the alliance broke up, Nitish Kumar has devoted himself to political management. So the major reason for the rise in communal incidents is a lack of governance.
The pattern of violence shows that the number of communal incidents increased almost tenfold in districts that had seen less than a handful of such episodes from January 2010 until the split. What are the reasons for this?
As I said, Bihar is suffering from lawlessness. Let us take the figures. Look at the cognisable offences — in 2005, it was 1, 47,778; in 2013, it became 1, 84,961 and in 2014, it rose to 1,95,24. The number of rape cases was 973 in 2005; 1,128 in 2013; and 1,127 in 2014. The number of dacoity cases stood at 224 in 2005; 240 in 2013 and 265 in 2014. Similarly, the number of murder cases was 3,423 in 2005 and 3,441 in 2013.
Read full investigation here: BIHAR SIMMERS BEFORE POLLS
So what it shows is since 2013, when the alliance broke up, the state has gone backwards to the 2005 scenario. It explains why there has been an increase in communal incidents as the lawlessness has spread to the entire state while the administration is weak.
Many of these communal incidents have been in regions where the Muslim population is less than the state average. They are also regions where the BJP made gains in 2014. So did the BJP benefit from this polarisation?
Our victory has nothing to do with polarisation. If we are talking about polarisation, let’s take the case of Katihar and Araria. There the Hindu votes got divided; otherwise there was no chance for Tariq Anwar (NCP) in Katihar. And these places have a high Muslim population.
But Katihar and Araria also had the lowest number of communal incidents.
It is for you to see the data and correlate.
Police records indicate that in at least two instances, including Jehanabad, people with clear links to the Sangh Parivar had mobilised rioters. Do you approve of their actions?
The RJD team that visited Jehanabad blamed the police for inefficiency. It was totally the fault of police and the administration that they could not resolve the issue. And naturally, with the VHP being close to the BJP, they become the favourite whipping boys. Being a Hindu organisation, they would be active in solving the problems of the Hindu society but that is not the same as rioting.

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