Wednesday, May 29, 2024

1980 Moradabad massacre: Judicial commission report presented in UP Assembly, gives clean chit to BJP, RSS

A judicial commission report on the 1980 Moradabad mass killing of Muslims which was presented after 40 years in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday has given a clean chit to the Hindutva organisations Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Bharatiya Janata Party and the local administration of wrongdoing.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna tabled the 496-page report in the state assembly in the presence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and gave reasons for the delay, reported PTI news agency. In May, the state cabinet had decided to table the Justice M P Saxena Commission’s report in the assembly.

The report has held a Muslim League leader and his supporters responsible for the 1980 riots in which more than hundred Muslims were killed and several others injured. On November 29, 1983, Justice (Retired) MP Saxena of the Allahabad High Court had submitted a report on the violence. However, the report was not made public and no action was taken on the basis of its recommendation.

On August 13, 1980, the Moradabad police fired on a gathering of Muslims at the Eidgah, resulting in the deaths of hundreds, including children. The incident led to a three-month-long curfew during which nearly 2500 people died. Although official reports list only 400 deaths, many also went missing, and there is no documentation of these missing individuals with either the police or the PAC.

The report has justified police action saying that they fired in self-defence. It blamed Indian Union Muslim League leader Shamim Ahmed and a man named Hamid Hussain for inciting the riots.

The report said that the violence took place due to a “leadership tussle” within a section of the Muslim community. It claimed that as the Muslim population in the area was increasing, they were being urged to consider themselves as a “vote bank” for electoral purposes.

The report also said that firing by the police and provincial armed constabulary to control the riots was “legally appropriate” and the local administration took necessary steps to maintain peace.

The report stated that neither any secret meetings were held by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or any other Hindu outfit nor Harijans (Dalits) were incited to take revenge on the Muslims. In fact, the RSS and the Bharatiya Janata Party had no hand whatsoever in this, it said.

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