Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022
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Sense Of A Riot

Close to elections, a ‘made to order’ riot becomes material for political gamesmanship

Sense Of A Riot
Tribhuvan Tiwari
Sense Of A Riot
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Chronicle Of Death

  • Aug 27 Death of a Muslim youth and two Jat brothers in Kawaal village over alleged molestation of the boys’ sister
  • Aug 27 night Muzaffarnagar DM Surendra Singh, a Jat himself, and SSP Manjil Singh, married to a Jat Sikh, transferred. Officials and locals say this was the state govt’s first big mistake.
  • Aug 30 Muslims meet at Shahid Chowk in Muzaffarnagar post- Friday prayers despite Section 144 CrPC even as Jat and some khap leaders meet in Lisadh village
  • Aug 31 First panchayat by khaps and Hindu leaders in Nagla Mandor
  • Sep 5 Muzaffarnagar observes successful bandh, supported by Jats and other communities.
  • Sep 7 More than 50,000 people gather at Nagla Mandor for mahapanchayat. Riots hit Muzaffarnagar. Last for close to 36 hours.
  • Sep 8 Violence spreads to neighbouring districts. Army called in. Curfew imposed.

***

It’s difficult to miss the giant hoarding of Mulayam Singh Yadav as you leave NH-58 to turn left towards Muzaffarnagar. The Samajwadi Party leader lords over the road, deserted at present because of the curfew in its riot-hit parts. His commanding presence is in sharp contrast to a blatant abdication from the state government run by his party. In religious violence the past week between Jats and Muslims that took 38 lives in less than 36 hours, it failed to control things at all initially—some would argue deliberately. As the city nears, the fear, anger and insecurity are palpable. It’s writ large on every face that peers out of narrow street corners, windows, rooftops. This western UP district HQ, normally a sic­kly-sweet sugarcane sink, is still a live bomb.

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