IMPAR raises serious concerns over flaring communal tensions in Uttarkashi..
Regardless of mention, the disproportionate impact of the state government's drive to evict illegal encroachers on the Muslim population had laid the foundations of the growing tensions. Now recently the abduction of a minor girl in the Purola District, which resulted in the arrest of a Hindu man named Jitendra Saini and a Muslim man Ubed Khan, has further exacerbated the situation, falsely framing itunder the pretext of "love Jihad." The incident raises a troubling question of how a crime that knows no religious identities, perpetrated by two young men of different faiths with 23-year-old Saini playing a key role, be given a communal twist, lacing it with the term "love jihad," and only the Muslim community suffering the worst consequences and bearing the brunt of the backlash? just because one of the names involved in the act belongs to a minority community. Additionally, despite reported instances of hate speeches in the Chilyanisaur block, no action has been taken by the police, raising questions about the adequacy of their response.
Alarming developments include the closing of minority-owned businesses, targeted demolition of centuries-old Dargahs (shrines) and the migration of Muslims from the area as a result of the rising unrest. It is also distressing that no arrests have been made regarding the posters saying "leave or prepare for consequences", demanding that individuals from the minority community vacate their shops and houses. These incidents highlight the urgent need for an impartial investigation.
IMPAR firmly believes that certain political parties are stoking the state's crises for their own vested interests. The frequency of these incidents reflects a persistent effort to sow the seeds of division and fear within the state. It is imperative for the responsible authorities to work together to curb the propagation of divisive ideologies and ensure the safety, security, and dignity of all communities.
To avoid similar tragedies in the future, we vehemently demand the implementation of Supreme Court rulings on measures against hate speech and mob violence. The current hate-filled activities will only cause harm to our nation. Promoting an atmosphere of peace and harmony are the need of the hour IMPAR remains committed to promoting unity, interfaith harmony, and advocating for justice and equality for all. In our attempt, we have written to various Uttarakhand authorities including the Chief Minister and also to the Chairman of the minority commission in this regard apart from planning to visit a few areas and a delegation meeting with the honourable chief minister of the state. We stand with the affected communities in Uttarakhand and call for swift action to restore communal amity in the region.
Editor cum Bureau chief, Lucknow