It is none else than Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik who has openly called the Kasganj communal clashes as a ‘blot’ on the state and described it as ‘shameful’.
He was a cabinet member in the Vajpayee government and a number one RSS worker who is popular among the Sangh Parivar, and the one who had triggered a controversy demanding construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya soon after he entered the Raj Bhawan. Yogi Adityanath’s hardline Hindutva governance has been blemished in a way that it shames even Ram Naik. The clashes began when hundreds of VHP-Bajrang Dal workers wielding saffron flags and national tricolour reached Vir Abdul Hameed Chowk, a predominantly Muslim area in Kasganj where the residents had gathered to hoist the national flag as part of Republic Day celebrations on Friday. Though the residents told them that it was not the main route, the Hindutva supporters yelled at them ‘to go to Pakistan’. Following this, widespread vandalizing of vehicles and shops took place, which is the usual norm. Meanwhile, a youth Chandan Gupta was killed in the clashes which aggravated the situation. The social media lost no time in taking over the issue. Campaigns were rampant that the reason for provocation was the Muslims chanting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ when Gupta shouted ‘Bharat Maata Ki jai’. Even three days after the incident, the police has miserably failed in restoring law and order. Though it was the properties of Muslims that have been almost completely destroyed, all the 49 people nabbed by the police are Muslims. Similar incidents had occurred during the Independence Day celebrations on August 15 as well. Then as well, motor bikes passed through a crowd in the Muslim-majority neighbourhood igniting the clashes. This time not only was the police reluctant to display diligence in the light of the past experiences, and with the police station located only a 100 metres away from the scene of the clashes, not even a single policeman came out to the scene despite knowing the news of the clashes. On enquiry about it, the reply was that all the police officers were attending the Republic Day program.
While BSP leader Mayawati charges that instead of rule of law it is the law of the jungle that rules UP, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav reacts that the state government is trying to sow the seeds of fear and reap its fruit. Akhilesh also points out that if any party can be blamed, it is the state government. BJP has its single standard reply to all these charges: it is all minority appeasement. But health minister Sidharth Nath Singh alleges that when Akhilesh was in power, there was not a single FIR against members of a particular community involved in violent incidents. It was following the Muzaffar Nagar riots of 2013 that BJP succeeded in its strategy of vitiating the communal atmosphere of the entire state of UP through concerted propaganda and by organizing riots ina pre-planned manner. During the communal violence of Muzaffarnagar 63 people were killed, and half a lakh of people from minority community had to flee their homes who are yet to be rehabilitated. In the meantime, chief minister Yogi Adityanath has declared the government's decision to withdraw all cases against the BJP leaders who were charged with crimes in the riots. With another state elections set to be held in 2019, the Kasganj riots has to be viewed as a planned move to make the already spoiled communal relations worse and to maximise the communal polarization. The unchecked march of Adityanath, coating haj house and madrasas with saffron, can by no means be aimed at restoration of peace. Even after the Supreme Court warned the state governments which failed to check the attacks by cow vigilantes, Yogi appears unperturbed. Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission issued notice to the state government several times asking for its explanations based on the report that during Yogi's rule, there have been 920 encounters and 31 deaths by shooting , but there has not been any response to that. T state where the highest number of communal clashes took place in 2017 was UP: numbering 60. Still Yogi remains unshaken. As long as he enjoys the backing of Modi-Amit Shah duo, who should Yogi Adityanath be afraid of? Therefore, even the warning by Governor Ram Naik is bound to be futile. The inaction of parties like SP, BSP and the Congress only serves to raise sky high the morale of Hindutva forces.