Yogi Adityanath’s new game: ‘Palayan Politics’ in Uttar Pradesh

In a bizarre order, the Yogi Adityanath Government in Uttar Pradesh has sought details of ‘exodus’ in the state because of ‘communal tension’ that took place prior to BJP coming to power

Photo by Subhankar Chakraborty/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Subhankar Chakraborty/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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Biswajeet Banerjee

In a bizarre order which smacks of partisan politics, the Yogi Adityanath Government in Uttar Pradesh has sent a letter to all divisional commissioners and district police chiefs seeking details of the exodus (palayan) in the state because of ‘communal tension’ that took place prior to the Bharatiya Janata Party government coming to power.

The time frame is very specific, which raises doubt over the intention of the government. It asks the Home Department to furnish details about exodus before March, 2017. The BJP Government came to power on March 19, 2017.

In a letter, dated March 21,2018 UP Home Secretary Bhagwan Swaroop has asked the officers to collect the information and submit the same at the earliest.

A senior official told this reporter that the letter is marked confidential and it specifically says that “information is sought on the cases of exodus due to communal tension”.

Eyebrows are being raised over this order as BJP had made exodus of people from Kairana a big political issue in 2016 and had claimed that Hindu families were forced to flee because of Muslim criminals who were enjoying political patronage. At that time Akhilesh Yadav was Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party was in power.

The then MP from Kairana Hukum Singh had fished out a list of 250 families, majority of them traders, who had fled the Shamli city because of extortion. Two criminals— Furqan and Moim Kala gang—were claimed to be involved in this extortion, but it wasn’t proved.

Eyebrows are being raised over this order as BJP had made exodus of people from Kairana a big political issue in 2016 and had claimed that Hindu families were forced to flee because of Muslim criminals who were enjoying political patronage. At that time Akhilesh Yadav was Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party was in power

As the exodus clamour gathered pace Yogi Adityanath, who was then star campaigner of the party, had claimed in one of the election meetings that “he will not let western Uttar Pradesh turn into another Kashmir, a reference to the forced migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s”

Congress Legislature Party leader in UP State Assembly Ajay Kumar Lallu said that this exercise is another attempt to drive a wedge between Hindus and Muslims. With Lok Sabha elections a year away and both Yogi and Modi government having failed miserably, the BJP will try its best to divide society between Hindus and Muslims. “Seeking details of exodus is just another attempt in this direction,” he said.

Communist Part of India (Marxist) polit bureau member Subhashni Ali said: “BJP is back on is communal agenda. Has Yogi Government sought report about Muslim exodus after Muzaffarnagar riots? It only talks about Shamli and Kairana and not about Muzzafaranagar. This is really very shameful.”

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