Adityanath’s soldiers run riot in Kushinagar

By Azam Shahab

Kushinagar/Mumbai:  If we search “Hindu Yuva Vahini Kushinagar” on Internet, we get more than 3,500 results, and if we search only “Hindu Yuva Vahini,” we get more than 60,000 results. These results include the news of the murder of Sohrab Khan of Gorakhpur and the ghar wapsi programme of Muslims and Christians in the eastern districts of UP. The official website of Hindu Yuva Vahini is also available on the Net. “Hindu Yuva Vahini is an ambitious cultural and social organisation, dedicated to Hindutva and Rashtravad”, the website says. But, if we try to guage its activities in Kushinagar district in eastern UP, we find the above introduction misleading.

Kushinagar Dargah which Hindus are trying to occupy

After Madhya Pradesh’s Mhow, Dewas and Gujarat’s Dangs districts, this UP district is another laboratory of Hindu extremists. Here the technique to attack Muslims and kidnap their young girls has been perfected. This is a daily occurrence in this district. Behind all these incidents stand Gorakhpur MP Aditya Nath and his “Hindu Yuva Vahini,” an organisation of religious lunatics. This organisation is active here since 2002, the year of its inception. But, its planned campaign against Muslims came to light after 2013, thanks to the Urdu media, the main source of information on this issue.

Hindutwadis trying to vitiate the atmosphere

 In order to assess the state of affairs I went to this district’s administrative centre, Padrauna, in the end of May 2015. Then I went to some affected villages and casbahs to talk to people there. A local mediaperson accompanied me to Padrauna.

Zulfiqar brutally injured in attacks

Madhopur in thana Bishnupura in tehsil Tamkohi Raj, which is 25 kilometers away on the border of Bihar, is a living proof of the anti-Muslim campaign of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, where a quarrel over a small piece of land was converted into a full-fledged communal riot so much so that Muslims had to leave their homes to seek shelter elsewhere.

Angoori—a girl lured away by Hindus

Madhopur is a mohalla of village Gori Shrirampur, where the Muslim population is about 30 percent of 400 households. Here people lived harmoniously till February 2013 when, all of a sudden, fanaticism raised its ugly head and injected hate in the village, destroying its communal harmony.

Muhammad Ameen, a retired teacher, said that before 13 February, 2013 the situation here was quite peaceful. “Then, all of a sudden, the district president of Hindu Yuva Vahini, Digvijay Kishore Shahi, called in more than 500 people from outside to attack us. They continued plundering us and dishonouring our women until we were forced to leave our homes and seek shelter elsewhere. During this period, they gang-raped two Muslim girls and tried to molest a married woman.”

When asked how the situation took such an ugly turn in a day, he said that the situation changed when Digvijay Kishore Shahi took over as the leader of Hindu Yuva Vahini. It seems Shahi was looking for a chance, which came his way when a feud erupted over a piece of land. Ameen said, “The land was ours, which Shahi wanted to grab. I had sued him and the verdict came in my favour. Digvijay’s land and his house are adjacent to my land. But, after the 13 February incident, he erected a wall and took over my land by force. A complaint to the police was useless because the police and administration are all under the influence of Hindu Yuva Vahini.”

 Ameen continued, “On 14 February, PAC was posted here, which gave some satisfaction to the minority community. But, the same day, the miscreants molested a married woman and the PAC personnel didn’t move a finger. This woman had failed to leave the village when others fled. When the situation returned to normal, Muslims returned to their homes only to find that cases had been filed against them under Sections 307, 145 and 147 and the police started to arrest them, instead of the rioters.”  

Chokat, a poor man, had four daughters. Two had been married and one died. The fourth one named Rubina had been kidnapped by Minto, son of Ram Chander. When she managed to return home, she said she was forced to change her religion and made to convert to Hinduism (ghar wapsi). Enquiries revealed that a doctor (Vinod Yadav) was behind her kidnapping. He is the local leader of Hindu Yuva Vahini. Although all this is well-known, the police failed to take any action against him. There is another girl with the same name (Rubina) who is also called “Soni”. She is the daughter of Habeeb Ansari. The ghar wapsi gang tried to kidnap her three times, but every time she screamed so loud that her kidnappers ran away in fright.  

There is another story of a girl in Chobia Rampur village near Madhopur. She was not only kidnapped, but was also forced to change her religion. Her kidnapper is a boy who was her neighbour. Now she is living as a Hindu girl in her neighbour Rameshwar’s house. The relatives of the girl say that after her kidnapping, we brought her back and got her married to a Muslim boy in Bahraich. However, she was kidnapped from there also.

There is another story of Jorhi village of Shiv Mandir tola, where 90 percent population is Muslim.  Some Muslim youngsters (adolescents) went to watch an orchestra on 3 May this year. There, a Hindu boy started teasing a girl who was dancing in the orchestra. When these youth tried to save the girl, a quarrel ensued and the Muslim youth were beaten up mercilessly. The next day (4 May this year), the Hindu Yuva Vahini held a meeting in Shiv Mandir and on 5 May, they called people from neighbouring villages on loudspeakers. Then a group of about 300 people, most of them members of Hindu Yuva Vahini, attacked the Muslim tola with weapons, beating up people and looting their houses. When Muslims gathered to challenge them, the attackers fled. Police and PAC reached the Muslim area only after the Vahini men had left, and arrested seven Muslim youth instead! They were kept in custody under six different Sections, 352, 147, 148, 149, 427 and 324. If anyone went to get them freed, he too was arrested. SO Jasraj wrote the FIRs against these Muslim youth.

A Muslim youth of Jorhi, Haroon Abdur-Razzaq said that Hindus and Muslims of Jorhi village lived cordially before Ajay Govind Rao was made Hindu Yuva Vahini chief. He made every effort to create a chasm between the two communities. 

There is another story of village Litwa Chakki, bordering Bihar, under thana Triyan Sojan. The Hindu Yuva Vahini people not only usurped the land of a person named Abdul-Lateef, but also gang-raped his three daughters in the presence of police. This happened on 25 May, 2013. There are lots of incidents of land-grabbing, beating of Muslim youth, gang-raping Muslim girls and taking forcible possession of mosques and graveyards. IN all such cases it is the Hindu Yuva Vahini activists of the villages concerned who are responsible for these crimes.

The latest incident is from the village Sonia, under thana Aheeroli, where they tried to forcibly occupy the old Muslim graveyard on 23 June this year. This village of 2,000 , has only two Muslim families. The graveyard is situated on their private land, but some Hindus managed to get it declared barren land with the help of local government officials. When the Muslims protested, they were beaten up and ordered to leave the village. This has been repeated at umpteen places like Piprajha, thana Kasia Bazar, and Fazilnagar under Kotwali Hata, where mosques and graveyards have been forcibly occupied. There are many incidents of kidnapping of Muslim girls and compelling them to change their religion.

During 1-18 March, 2013, nine such incidents took place in Padrauna’s Veer Abdul Hameed Nagar, Shaikhpura tola and Nokatola. Five girls managed to return later, while nothing is known about the remaining four girls. Nitesh alias Tannu of village Dharmoli under Kotwali Hata tried to kidnap Rubina of the same village, but failed due to the resistance of her family.            

While we were in Padrauna, we came to know that a Muslim girl had been brought to the police station. She had run away with a Hindu boy two months ago. Barely 18 years old, she was sporting sindoor on her head as a sign of a married Hindu woman. She said her name was Angoori and she had gone out of her own free will with a Hindu boy and had willingly changed her religion.

The correspondent of Inquilab, Anwar Siddiqi, and a local social worker, Muhammad Mumtaz, told us that Muslim girls were kidnapped as well as lured away and the purpose was to change their religion. Hindu women were used for this purpose. They became friends with Muslim girls and soon whisked them away to a certain point from where they were transported to another place and then taken in a car to the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur which is headed by Adityanath. They are kept there for 3-4 days, and sometimes even for a week. During this period, their shuddhikaran (purification) is done and their religion is changed. Thereafter, they are returned to their kidnappers. It is anyone’s guess what takes place during the shuddhikaran.

Anwar Siddiqui said that there were dozens of incidents where girls said that they were taken to the Gorakhnath temple and kept there in a room. These girls speak of their shuddhikaran. Anwar added that umpteen complaints had been lodged with the police but no action was taken.   Adityanath has said openly that “If a Muslim takes one Hindu girl, we will take in lieu of her 100 Muslim girls.” Adityanath’s statement on video surfaced in August 2014, when it was said that it was five years old. That is, it was made in 2009.

This is only a brief account of what has been taking place in Kushinagar district’s Padrauna, Bangalpatti, Tola Banjarya and Dharmoli villages under Hata Kotwali. Stories of such kidnappings and shuddhikaran are common here. Muslims had been demoralised, but thanks to Maulana Amir Rashadi, head of the Rashtriya Ulama Council, they are taking a stand now. With his team of lawyers and social activists he toured the area for weeks and started legal proceedings against the criminals. (With inputs from Anwar Siddiqui, Kushinagar)  

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 August 2015 on page no. 1

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