Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on visited Hindu families that were forced out of Kairana in District Shamli by Muslims between 2014 and 2016 last evening, promising them compensation and “security”.
The BJP had questioned the then Samajwadi Party government for the “exodus” of Hindu families from the western UP town. It was a big issue in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh election.
On 8 November, Yogi Adityanath again alleged that Hindus had been forced out while claiming that many had returned due to his government’s measures. Speaking to reporters after meeting some of the families now back in Kairana, including three who lost members to attacks by criminals, he said the government would compensate “the victim families so that they could again carry out their business and economic activities”.
“I have sought a report from the district administration about the families which were harmed and their members killed,” Yogi said, adding that action had been initiated against the guilty.
“I have personally come to assure the families that we will continue zero tolerance against criminals. There will be full safety and security. Without hesitation, they can live on the land of their ancestors,” Yogi said.
The chief minister said Kairana’s standing as a major industrial town and centre of classical music had suffered, along with towns like Kandhla, due to “the criminalisation of politics in the early 1990s and the politicisation of professional criminals. Hindu businessmen and other Hindus were forced to migrate from here on a large scale”.
Since 2017 though, Yogi said, “Due to our government’s policy of zero tolerance towards crime and criminals, many families have returned.”
He said that when he came to the town in 2017, people had demanded the strengthening of the police outpost and a PAC battalion. “The work of strengthening the outpost has already been done and today I came here for laying the foundation of a PAC battalion camp,” he said.
Asserting that Kairana was now known not for crime but “rapid development”, the chief minister said that everyone benefits from government schemes that are not aimed at “appeasement”.
On the timing of his visit, ahead of the elections, Yogi said: “There is no election at present. It is my duty to meet those who have suffered, and it is not a crime to meet them if they are Hindus… Exodus is also an issue.”
In a video released by the state government, several people whom the chief minister met can be heard praising his government’s measures in making them feel “secure”. When a Kairana local tells him they had been very afraid of gangster Mukim Kala, and were relieved hearing he had been killed in Chitrakoot jail following a gang dispute, Yogi said, “He got what he deserved.”
The chief minister was accompanied during his visit by minister Suresh Rana, one of the accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, and BJP state president Swatantra Dev Singh. Then BJP MP Hukum Singh had claimed that close to 350 Hindus had left under threats from criminals from Kairana, one of the towns hit by the 2013 riots.
Sirf News had reported after the by-election in Kairana that the reason for the BJP’s defeat was the dishonouring of the promise of legal help made to those accused in the riots of Muzaffarnagar. Several Hindu families, mostly Jat, had alleged then that they had voted for the BJP based on the promise that the cases would either be withdrawn or the families would be provided legal assistance, neither of which happened.
After meeting the families, Yogi Adityanath addressed a public rally in Kairana and laid foundation stones for 114 schemes worth Rs 426 crore. A similar programme was held in Rampur later.
“Muzaffarnagar ka danga raha ho, ya phir Kairana ka palayan, ye humare liye rajneetik mudda nahin balki pradesh aur desh ki aan-maan-shaan par aane wali aanch ka mudda hai… Kabhi Kairana ke nagrikon ko palayan karne wale apraadhi, pichle chaar saal mein khud palayan karne par majboor ho gaye… Agar kisi ne dusahas kiya, kisi vyapari aur nagrik par goli chalane ka, ulta goli usi ki chhati ko bhedte huye, usey doosre lok ki yatra ko bhej diya gaya (Whether Muzaffarnagar riots or the Kairana exodus, it is not a political issue for us, but that of a blot on the country and state… The criminals who once forced the locals to migrate have now themselves migrated… Anyone who has dared attack, shot a local here, has faced a bullet transporting him to the other world),” the chief minister said.
He said: “Talibanikaran hum bardaasht nahin karenge (We will not tolerate Talibanisation). They want to take people to the middle ages.”