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Minister-led mob attacks Muslims

Lucknow: Unbelievable though it may sound but it is true that a U.P. cabinet minister led goondas of his party to attack the Muslim locality in Bairwas village under Lohtan police station in Siddharth Nagar district of U.P. bordering Nepal.

It is alleged that reacting to an alleged case of ‘cow slaughter’, a mob led by Minister Dhanraaj Yadav attacked the Muslim locality of the village on 10 July and set on fire all the 80 houses belonging to Muslims. The menfolk of the locality had already fled leaving behind only women and children when a police force arrived in the village to make enquiries after a complaint. A male calf was found murdered, not slaughtered, according to Mumtaz Bhai, BSP leader in Siddharthnagar who told MG that the calf belonged to the kind which is left at large and its meat is not consumed by anyone. According to him, the calf was found dead on 9 July at Sapahi, a village 1.5 kms away from Bairwas.

The mob also ransacked the local madrasa and set it on fire. The Lohtan Police, which had earlier arrested Zakri, the man said to be responsible for this illegal act, did not react at first and allowed the situation to take the ugly turn. However, after loot and arson it acted and opened fire to disperse the mob killing one Ram Bux on the spot. The man is said to be an active member of Vishwa Hindu Parishad who had been spitting venom against Muslims of the area for alleged act of cow slaughter. Another activist of BJP and member of Zila Panchayat, Ram Niwas Yadav, was also badly beaten by the police. However, independent enquiries revealed that the calf was ‘killed’ not ‘slaughtered’. Another person belonging to majority community was also killed due to head injury after brickbatting.

It may be noted that the said minister is a habitual culprit and has been implicated in two other such cases earlier, first in 1989 in Sikri crossing case and later in 1992 in Shankar Pur case after a probe by crime branch of CID. However, after his becoming the minister the cases were withdrawn by the BJP led government of U.P.

Higher officers of district and commissionery including commissioner Basti range DIG range, District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police Basti reached the spot to control the situation. PAC and para military forces are patrolling the area. True to his habit Minister Dhanraaj Yadav spitted venom against the Muslims of the area and termed them as the ISI agents endangering the peace and security of the bordering area.

On the other hand the entire opposition has demanded his immediate suspension from the cabinet and his arrest. A delegation of Samajwadi Party headed by leader of the opposition Mr. Dhani Ram Verma, Mr Ahmad Hasan, Dr Vaqar Ahmad Shah and Mr Shiv Pal Singh Yadav toured the area and met the people. The delegation blamed that at the behest of local contractors who were facing heavy loss due to the opposition to the construction of a proposed dam which was endangering the existence of many villages of the area, Dhanraj Yadav and his party workers masterminded the trouble. Senior Congress leader Mr. DP Bora and ex-chief minister Jadambika Pal also demanded action against the minister and full compensation to those whose houses were set on fire and belongings looted. They have demanded that Dhanraaj Yadav be removed from the cabinet and an FIR be lodged against him and the dropped case be revived.

Meanwhile local MLA Mohammad Muqeem (Cong) with workers of his party is busy in providing relief, particularly goods of daily use, to the victim families.

-Obaid Nasir (additional input: Ahmad Rahmani)

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