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U.P Police not ready to buy Govt theory on SIMI's role in Kanpur riots
By Khadijatul Kubra, Faizabad

The Uttar Pradesh Police is apparently not ready to buy State's Home Department theory that Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was solely responsible for the Kanpur violence, which claimed at least 20 lives including a senior district officer AB Pathak.

During the Kanpur riots recently, officials were full of venom against the SIMI and newspapers were playing their own role to portray the SIMI as a villain of the tragedy. They were all for hanging the SIMI for the Kanpur violence, but the Police chief of the State Mahesh Chandra Dwivedi denying the hand of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in the Kanpur riots said in a clear term that ‘it was the handiwork of some rowdy elements who publicized posters in which the holy Qur'an was shown burning’.

The Director-General of Police (DGP) did not name the SIMI responsible for the violence either. This stand of the U.P Police was contrary to the stand taken by the state's Home Department which, through a news agency managed circulation of a news story claiming that they have ‘definite evidence’ of the involvement of the activists of SIMI in the Kanpur riots.

Quoting an anonymous spokesman’, the agency report further says that ‘the preliminary inquiry into the Kanpur riots... has revealed the dubious role of SIMI activists in these riots. The riots had started immediately after provocative speeches were made by SIMI activists near Naveen Market in Kanpur on 16 March’.

On being asked about the activities of organizations like the SIMI, The DGP in Faizabad however said that ‘strict instructions have been given to immediately register a case and arrest the members of any such organization if they indulged in anti-social activities’.

The SIMI however took strong exception to the government floating the ‘maligning’ story and the agency released next day a story based on the statement of Mr Waqar-Ul-Hasan, all-India Secretary of SIMI which was faxed to it from SIMI's Delhi HQ. It says that ‘the Kanpur riots were an engineered exercise of the Sangh Parivar and PAC and that SIMI had nothing to do with it’. It genuinely demanded action against those who were involved in engineering the burning of the copies of Qur'an.. Not only the SIMI, almost all the political parties including the main opposition Samajawadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress besides the left parties are holding Sangh Parivar and the State's para-military force of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) responsible for the perpetuation of Kanpur violence.

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