Though over 100 communal clashes have rocked Uttar Pradesh, 106 to be precise since Akhilesh Yadav took over, most of them have gone unreported, especially those in rural areas. The major ones had taken place in Pratapgarh, Faizabad, and Kosi Kalan.
Also, though the ruling party has been criticised, Muslims are hesitant to hold their young chief minister Akhilesh Yadav responsible for the same. They, however, agree that he is unable to effectively hold the reins of administration.
“He has failed to inculcate a sense of accountability in the highly-polarised lower administration. His officers are bent to prove him a failure,” feels Abul Rauf, a local leader in Kosi Kalan.
Pointing towards the charred shops and houses and alleging that they were burnt and looted in the presence of local police officials and the provincial armed constabulary, originally sent to protect them, Rauf believes that just transferring superintendents of police and district magistrates is hardly the antidote to rioting.
People are on a short fuse, be it in Rampur, Firozababd, Muzaffarnagar, Bhagpat, Saharanpur, Azamgarh, Kandeela, Bareilly or Farukhnagar in Ghaziabad near Delhi. Flare-ups between groups begin on trivial issues like the use of loudspeakers, the fencing of a graveyard or being accidentally hit by a motorcycle. And, every time, the police allow the rioters two to three hours to teach a particular community a lesson.
As usual politicians of one party have blamed another for the volatile situation. Yogi Adityanath, MP from Gorakhpur, has blamed the state government’s appeasement of Muslims for the communal conflagration. “Releasing terrorists from jails, the waiving of electricity tariff of weavers, the assertion by the government to implement the Justice Sachar and the Ranganath Misra committee reports and doling out scholarships to students of a particular community have led to this situation,” he alleges.