“Dhanni Deeh is first Hindutva lab in UP”
Uttar Pradesh: In independent India probably it has happened for the first time that a crowd of thousands mercilessly beats menfolk of a particular community, loots and sets their houses on fire, strips their women naked and after taking them round in the village violates their chastity but the government machinery watches all such indignities and brutalities as silent and passive spectator. This is the story not of any film nor of Narendra Modi’s Gujarat. This tragic incident is of Dhanni Deeh village of Shravasti district of UP where the goondas of Ashok Mishra, brother of Dadan Mishra, a minister in Mayawati government punished every Muslim of this village for the elopement of a Hindu girl with a Muslim boy.
After saying this much, Avdhesh Prasad, secretary Samajwadi Party and a former minister, stops for a while. Probably the painful and tragic scene of Dhanni Deeh village is still fresh before his eyes after seeing which he has just come back. Resuming his speech, he said that incidents of women being stripped naked and taken around have taken place earlier also but those were the acts of goondas or because of wrong verdicts of Panchaits but whatever happened in Shravasti on 10 July was not under any jungle raj but at the instance of a minister of an elected government, the honour of a whole community was torn to shreds.
The team which toured Dhani Deeh village of Shravasti district under the leadership of Samajwadi Party leader Mata Prasad Pande also included Faizabad’s towering leader Avdhesh Prasad who saw and also heard the heart-rending tale to which 40 odd houses of Muslims of Dhani Deeh village were subjected to on 10 July and wiped the tears of affected persons. Every body was keen to see and hear from Avdhesh Prasadji the truth behind the shameful incident of this village which was blacked out by media and government. When he had come to Lucknow from Faizabad for a day, this journalist was also there in the large crowd to whom he was painfully narrating each and every thing that the women of Dhanni Deeh village were subjected to.
The incident initially was not very special and unique. The daughter of Pundit K.N. Dwivedi of Dhani Deeh village, 20-year old Vandana who was married but gauna (going to bridegroom’s house for the first time after marriage) had not yet taken place, had fallen in love with Saleem, a boy of an average house of the village. The intensity of their love affair compelled both of them one day to run away. Such incidents are frequently taking place at some places or the other but the thing becomes serious and sensitive when both belong to different religions. In this case the boy is Muslim but the girl is Hindu, especially the daughter of Punditji. And these days UP government is being remote-controlled by Pundits or Brahmins and upper caste people. Police did not understand this sensitivity of the matter and things took a turn for the worse.
When the police failed to recover the run-away boy and the girl, Dwivediji was highly upset. He could neither get his daughter nor Saleem who had brought infamy to his family in particular and the high caste Brahmin community in general. The entire Muslim community of the village became the victim of his anger and revenge. He took revenge of his insult with the help of Mayawati government’s minister for Ayurveda Doon Mishra’s brother Ashok Mishra and his goondas in such a way that humanity itself shuddered. On one side was the crowd of thousands led by the brother of a minister seated in a vehicle with red light and on the other side were the poor Muslim men and women of the village who were also ashamed because of the accusation that one of their misguided youth had eloped with the daughter of a respected family. There was no one who could stop these blood thirty people. Dhanni Deeh village of Shravasti district had become a replica of Narandra Modi’s Gujarat for five or six hours where houses of Muslims were being looted and set on fire, menfolk were being mercilessly thrashed, innocent girls and women, even septuagenarians stripped naked were being taken around the village. When the hapless weeping women pleaded and beseeched them to at least let their petticoats remain on their bodies, the cruel men laughingly said, wrap these around your head. After exhibiting naked bodies of the women, started the process of raping them. Whosoever caught hold of any woman satisfied his lust. Babies and children were grabbed from the laps of their mothers and thrown in the gutters. As if the thirst of heartless men was not yet quenched, while retreating they took away their animals, cattle and bullocks which were the sources of their livelihood.
Avdhesh Prasad paused again. Probably he wanted to conceal his tears and choked voice. He said that the people of the village were so much terrified that no one wanted to say what had befallen on them. When the team members assured them that they have come to bring justice to them, they came forward and narrated their tales of woe. Avdhesh Prasad said that their heads hung in shame when the women said that ‘if you want to see the signs of excesses and brutalities heaped on us, we are prepared to remove our clothes. When thousands have seen us naked, what purdah is there to observe now?’
Avdhesh Prasad said that when in a madrasa of Allahabad two girl students were subjected to indignities Mayawati Bahen had reached there and given 5 lakh rupees also and asked ‘where is her sympathy now?’ Modesties of scores of women were outraged. Neither the culprits have been arrested so far nor compensations paid to the oppressed people, he said and asked ‘is it simply because the culprits are her own people?’