January 16, 2013 By Shauqeen Mizaj

‘After Riot, Statistics were Fabricated’


The National Integration Council (NIC) meeting held in New Delhi against the backdrop of Muzaffarnagar riots witnessed a joint determination to fight against the escalating communal violence and crimes and discrimination against women and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (ST/SC) communities. According to the reports submitted by the government and circulated among the membersof the NIC, the death toll was near to 47 with huge destruction of property and displacement of 40,000 people.

ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Disharmony), a Delhi based NGO, has come forward stating that the death statistics presented by the government were completely incorrect. Shabnam Hashmi, noted activist and the founding member of ANHAD stated that the Muzaffarnagar riots were planned by the RSS for almost six months ago and demanded an investigation  by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) into the matter. She said that the violence in Muzaffarnagar was a smaller version of Gujarat riots and there was an involvement of the administration in the process. The Sangh Parivar has worked out the same strategies to incite violence as in Gujarat riots, but on a smaller scale. Shabnam said that Amit Shah being Modi’s greatest supporter is a favoring factor for the BJP to win more votes.

After the Muzaffarnagar riots, ANHAD had instituted an investigative committee comprising lawyers, journalists, law students and social activists. The committee disagrees with the statistics on communal violence estimated by the government and criticized the government for its indolent attitude towards the riots, the consequences and also towards the riot-hit victims. The committee members have come forward with several evidences and statistics which prove the government reports untrue. According to one of the committee members, more than 100 were killed and 70 people were still missing with 7 registered and as many unregistered cases of gang rape. They stated that the conditions in the refugee camps for the riot-hit victims were inhuman with no government support at all. The President of Zakat Foundation and ex OSD at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood said that he doubts the authenticity of the official statistics and added that the people who fled from their homes during the time of riots were all Muslims. The report submitted by the government discloses the religious identities of the victims which were good news during the current circumstances but the reports were untrue, she told ummid.com. Apart from the anti-Sikh riots, more than 80% of the victims in all the riots that took place in India were Muslims who either got killed or injured or endured material losses, she added.

Editor of The Milli Gazette Dr Zafarul Islam Khan called the government reports “rubbish” and “untrue”. He opined the statistics were provided by the state and the police who already had a tendency to bury the actual facts. There were reports of the police refusing to register the FIR (First Information Report). He claimed that the committee had the names and the addresses of the 64 people who were killed during the clashes when the government reports regarding the death toll in Muzaffarnagar came only up to 47. He said that since the dead bodies were burnt, destroyed or buried in undisclosed locations, the death rate was even higher. According to the Home Ministry reports, 107 people died in the communal riots in the country this year alone among which 66 were minority community members.

Shabnam hashimi also lashed out at Modi calling him a liar. “It’s necessary to oppose Modi, if we want to protect democracy,” she said addressing the media along with other social organizations like National Secular Forum, Indian Muslim Mahila Andolan and Jan Pahal who has come forward with firm oppositions against Modi. In Gujarat, the Assembly is hardly convened 30 days a year. The educational system is pathetic with all the decisions turning autocratic. Even the development figures are fabricated fooling the people, the media and the government, she added.

Dr Punyani, a member of the National Secular Forum said that they will be educating people with the true picture of Modi and his agendas through public gatherings, meetings and the social media so that they will be able to choose between democracy and autocracy. Lajja Shankar Hardenia of the National Secular Forum said that the fascist ideology of the RSS supports Modi to deploy his autocratic ways. He also pointed out the imprisonment of 19 IPS (Indian Police Service) officers in Gujarat as proof. Modi is a threat to justice and equality, said Zakia Soman of Bhartiya Muslim Andolan. “We don’t have any other option but to oppose him. Intellectuals and artistes from all over the country are coming under one roof to make people aware of the true picture of Gujarat,” she said.

Posted in: Articles