A Muslim mob torched a police outpost and pelted stones at police in Azamgarh district, UP yesterday ostensibly over an alleged anti-Islam comment on Facebook. The mob also damaged a police jeep, vandalized an ATM and tried to force their way into a bank during the violence which lasted for around 3 hours. Around a dozen policemen and a local BJP leader were injured, some of them seriously.
Daily Pioneer reports that the incident occurred in Saraimeer area of the district on Saturday.
“As many as 15 persons have been taken into custody over the incident. Heavy force has been deployed in the area,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Circle Officer (CO), Phooplur. He added that police resorted to lathi charge and tear gas shells to control the situation.
According to police, a derogatory post against Islam was uploaded on Facebook by one Amit Sahu (23) three days ago. The accused was arrested following a complaint by a former nagar panchayat chairman, Prasad said.
Yet, a mob of locals led by history-sheeter Kaleem Jamai arrived at Saraimeer police station around 11 am, demanding to invoke the strident National Security Act (NSA) against Sahu.
“Policemen tried to pacify the mob saying that there is a procedure which needs to be followed before invoking NSA. But, the mob started pelting the policemen with stones. They also damaged a vehicle parked on the police station campus,” the CO said.
Apart from the 15 people who have been arrested, attempts are being made to trace others, including Kaleem, who managed to escape.
Station House Officer (SHO) of Saraimeer police station Ram Naresh Yadav said, “We registered an FIR against him (Amit Sahu) under IPC Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs). The police also invoked Information Technology Act against the accused.” Amit was arrested on Friday and produced before a local court Saturday, which sent him to jail.
Pre-planned violence under cover of Islamist politics?
As always, we get more insight into any issue when we go beyond the ELM (English Language Media) and see what the regional media is saying.
Dainik Jagran reports that a few days back, police had lodged a case against Kaleem Jamai for a defamatory social media comment against SHO Ram Naresh Yadav. Since then, Jamai and others had been plotting to ‘teach police a lesson’. They started instigating people in the name of religion and used the alleged post by Sahu to attack police. It appears that they wanted the rioting to spread all over the region.
After pelting stones on Saraimeer police station, the rioters thrashed a police official (divan) stationed at a police chowki in the market and torched the chowki. They assaulted a security guard and vandalized an ATM booth and CCTV camera. The mob also tried to barge their way into a Sahara bank branch. They assaulted local BJP leader Chottelal Jaiswal after entering his shop and injured him seriously.
Ulama Council Hand?
Samajawadi Party’s district chief Hawaldar Yadav blamed local political otufit Ulema Council for the violence. BJP’s district chief Prem Prakash Rai said that despite police taking proper action against the accused Amit Sahu, some anti-social elements decided to disturb the peace. He said that the violence was planned by Ulema Council and Owaisi’s AIMIM in conjunction with the prime accused in the 2016 Khudadpur rioting where several Dalits and policemen were injured.
Ulama Council, now known as Rashtriya Ulama Council (RUC), is an Azamgarh-based political party formed in 2008 by Muslim clergy to protest the Batla House encounter in New Delhi where 2 Indian Mujahideen terrorists and police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma were killed.
It was the initiative of Maulana Aamir Rashadi Madni and Maulana Tahir Madni, who called a meeting of Muslim clerics in Uttar Pradesh and then booked a train to take thousands of Muslims to protest against the central government and demand a judicial probe in the encounter. The party is now pursuing the Batla House case through both protests and legal means.
RUC won 2.25 lakh votes in the 2009 parliamentary elections and 6 lakh votes in the 2012 UP Assembly eletctions. In 2015, RUC, Parcham Party of India, Indian National League, Welfare Party of India (political arm of Jamaat-e-Islami…Party President S. Q. R. Ilyas is an ex-SIMI leader and father of JNU student activist Umar Khalid) and other smaller parties formed a new alliance, the UP Ittehad Front. Just before the 2017 UP assembly elections, RUC withdrew its candidates and pledged support to BSP. Before the recent Gujarat elections, RUC demanded reservation of seats for Muslims.
How many organizations like RUC, naked expressions of political Islam but disguised under cover of secularism and social justice, exist across Bharat? Who is tracking their communal hate politics, their cynical use of Islam to further their political goals, and their (successful) attempt to keep the Muslim community in a state of either victimhood or supremacy? Why do our elites, the self-appointed guardians of the republic like Pratap Bhanu Mehta, never talk about this Islamist parivar which threatens another partition in the not too distant future?
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