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Mainstream, VOL LV No 18, New Delhi, April 22, 2017

EVMs, Rapes and Kidnappings in UP

Monday 24 April 2017, by Humra Quraishi



This entire week during my interactive talks with persons from Uttar Pradesh, there has been focus on three prime aspects: Their doubts about the very ‘proper authentic’ functioning of the Electronic Voting Machines! Those doubts coming up soon after the UP election results were announced and are getting strengthened after the EVMs did throw up some ugly truths in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind district. And why should it be presumed that only few EVMs were faulty—that is, those found faulty in Madhya Pradesh? There is every chance that many more of those machines were tampered or fiddled with. Why shouldn’t there be a thorough investigation of the EVMs used for the Uttar Pradesh elections? Why should we go by the assurances given by the Election Commission?

After all, the Election Commission is manned by a group of civil servants handpicked by the government, so it is a body which is directly under the control of the political rulers of the day... In fact, to put it rather too bluntly, people’s faith is shaken and till that is restored there is little point parroting all’s okay with the EVMs. No, all’s not okay. Huge dents on the very trust factor. There is not just simmering anger and above all the feeling of getting cheated.

Then, the people of Uttar Pradesh have begun to doubt the very intentions of the government of the day. Imagine, these rulers do not know the difference between romance and rape! Have they heard of Romeo and Juliet! If they had heard or read those heart-touching lovelorn tales, they wouldn’t have formed the anti-Romeo squads that go killing love!

The BJP’s anti-Romeo squads seem not just bizarre but silly. Mind you, Romeos cannot be thrown in the ‘eve-teasers’ category, because they are teenaged romantics and with that a harmless lot. Why kill romance! Why are efforts on to push and pull us towards some dark ages where only the brute-cum-fake-cum-heartless can survive!

Have the rulers of the day heard of something called emotions or romantic notions or those fragile feelings tucked in the heart? In fact, the truth is that women love romance and romantics and Romeos, so why the hell should the State turn killer of emotions!

Why Not Anti-Rape and Anti-Kidnapping Squads!

In fact, the BJP Government of Uttar Pradesh should form anti-rape squads and with that arrest the BJP politicians who are rape-accused in the Muzffarnagar riots of 2013. But how can those rapists be touched! Aren’t they part of today’s ruling class, ruling over the same lot of women they’d raped!

Another dark reality of Uttar Pradesh is that young girls from the minority community are getting kidnapped and forcibly converted and even married into Hindu households. This has been ongoing for the last few years, yet no squad to throttle the goon-kidnappers of these young Muslims girls!

This fact was first highlighted in 2016, when members of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat travelled to Kushinagar and saw for themselves the ground realities. And in January 2017 journalist Shweta Desai of the DNA had brought out a detailed feature on this alarming build-up in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Her feature titled ‘Reverse love-jihad surfaces in UP’ is a must read.

I’m quoting from the findings of the fact-finding team of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, which had travelled to Kushinagar district in eastern UP to investigate reports about the persecution of the Muslim community in the district at the hands of Adityanath’s Hindu Yuva Vahini, and brought out their report at a press conference held at Lucknow on January 1, 2016.

“Reports of large-scale rapes and kidnappings of Muslim girls, sometimes as young as 12 years, are true. These criminal incidents started on a large-scale since 2013. Most of the kidnapped or lured girls remain untraced while some are known to be living as Hindus. According to girls who have managed to flee from the clutches of their kidnappers, it has emerged that they were lured under various pretexts or snatched away from their villages. They were taken to distant places and temples where they were raped, forced to undergo shuddhi (purification) and then married forcibly to Hindu boys. Girls who have managed to return are threatened and attempts are made to kidnap them again. The few who had the courage to go public and lodge complaints with the police, are harassed and threatened with the connivance of the local police and administration which threatens the victims and files counter-cases against them under SC/ST and Goonda Acts as a pressure tactic to force the victims to withdraw their complaints and cases. In one such case, Muhammad Haneef of village Dharmauli, father of a victim girl, collapsed and died in the office of the CO due to dire threats and filthy abuses.”

 The delegation members had met a number of such girls who were living under terror in villages like Dharmauli (thana Hata), Bajaria (thana Bishanpura), Gram Madhopur (thana Bishanpura) and Bajnaria (thana Bishanpura). The delegation found that the atrocities against Kushinagar Muslims, kidnappings of their young girls, anti-mosque agitation, and engineered riots are going on with the active support of the local police and administration.

 Update On The Meat Front!

Amidst all the meat politics, it’s relevant to know that out of the six top meat exporters in India, four are non-Muslims. Here go the details—Al Kabeer Exports Pvt. Ltd. (owners—Satish and Atul Sabharwal, Mumbai), Arabian Exports Pvt. Ltd. (owner—Sunil Kapoor, Mumbai), MKR Frozen Food Exports (owner—Madan Abbott, New Delhi), PML Industries (owner—A.S. Bindra, Chandigarh. Incidentally, A.S. Bindra happens to be the father of ace shooter Abhinav Bindra.

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