The punishment of rioting is the culmination of refusing police reform
This article is advocating for the imperativeness of police reform to deal with communal riots erupting in country at regular intermissions that were a rare phenomenon earlier. The Supreme Court had given the police reform related decisions on 22 September 2006 but the feudalistic mentality of the state governments persists. Police is not fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities, dancing always on the tunes of the power that be.
The communal riots flared in Muzaffernagar have shaken the conscience of entire nation. Over four dozens people have been killed in the riot and around 50 thousand people have gone elsewhere leaving their villages behind. The reality is that the sparks of riot was ceaselessly burning in Uttar Pradesh. Riots in UP are the ugly consequences of the vote bank politics. As per the data of the state government, altogether 12 communal riots have taken place in 2012, from December to March among which, Bareilly, Mathura and Faizabad incidents were the most serious in magnitude and nature. This has been repeatedly told that UP is sitting on the volcano of violence that could erupt any moment and exactly this has happened. This is not at all a matter of pride for the state government that such type of riots have happened after 26 years gap in the western part of UP. This is also not a thing to boast for the state government that army had to be called in after 21 years to bring such situation under control.
Policies of Samajwadi party responsible for rioting
This is evident that the policies of Samajwadi Party were to blame for the flaring up of the communal rioting. These days, there is a glut of fake drugs in the market. Similarly, in the bottle of secularism also, the poison of secularism is being sold. Samajiwadi party, as for that matter, swears by secularism but this secularism is only for gaining political power and certainly not out of the compulsions of the commitment to the constitutional principles. Pumping into the minds of minorities with the poison of this fear that they have dangers from the majority community means widening the chasm between the two communities the seeds of which were sown before independence by the British for their own interests. This is one big reason for disturbing the secular harmony of society, No matter how corrupt was the regime of Mayawati government, but at least the communal harmony was under control then. Politicians play their nefarious games, but the question arises whether the police performed its constitutional obligations or not. Could the riots have been nipped in the bud on time? Could UP have saved itself from such a vast devastation of lives and properties? This is my clear view that these flames of riots could have been extinguished on time before its taking the gargantuan form.
The skirmish began on ordinary issue on 27 August. Had the state police sprung in action on time, all the consecutive explosions could have been averted. But this did not happen due to the interference of politicians. This is said, it was upon the directives of a minister from Lucknow that some names of leaders were taken off from the FIR. The other group got agitated over this score. They felt they would not get justice from the government. In the meanwhile, a fake video footage was also shown on TVs which further added fuel to the fire in the explosive situation. The DGP himself went to Muzaffernagar on 6 September, but in the absence of any harsh action to be taken, the situation worsened. Despite clamping section 144, Jansabha and Mahasabha on 7 September were flagrantly held showing thumbs down to the state administration. Around two lac people assembled from Haryana, UP and Delhi. In the Mahasabha, leaders of different parties delivered fiery speeches after which, the fire of riots spread in Shamli and Muzaffernagar.
The fall out of a weak leadership and political interference
It is but obvious that the police did not fulfill its constitutional duty. This happened because of the weak leadership and the political interference is another matter. The approach of the center has been dilly-dallying from the very beginning because it needed the support of the Samajwadi party. Now that the situation has worsened and the Congress felt that even the Muslim leaders are also criticizing the Samajwadi party, the hardening up of the attitude of Congress is now being evidently noticed.
Why the talks for police reform are held? Not because, the police officials would be vested with additional powers or their prestige and stature would enhance. This is because of the political interference. As long as this interference will let to continue, no power on earth can bridle communal violence.
The riots of Muzaffernagar- an eye opener
Country's prime four institutions in their joint statement had revealed that the riots of Muzaffernagar is one more instance of proof how the political personalities trigger communal rioting for their personal gains. The relationship of riots with politics is rooted deep down. They sacrifice the lives of the people without any compunction. SC had issued directives in 2006 for police reform but nothing has come out of this. They do not want any loose end left out in their grips over police. On last 31 July, the SC had asked the chief secretaries of four states to be present in the court in person. The states were, Andhra Pradesh, Taminadu, Maharashtra and UP. The chief secretaries of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh had given the assurance to the extent that they will obey the instructions relating to police reform. No sooner than they reached their respective capitals than they started citing difficulties. Maharashtra government went a step ahead by pointing out that some of the SC instructions were against the provision of constitution. This also is baffling why Maharashtra government felt this difficulty after a lapse of seven years since the SC had issued instructions. The truth is that there is neither legal hitch nor any clash between the instructions issued by the SC and the provisions of constitution. The truth is plain and that is that the state governments do not want police reform and putting forth excuses just to install the reform. How long this situation would continue.
Much leeway has been given from the part of SC. Now is the necessity perhaps of issuing notices of contempt of court to the state governments. Police reform is connected with the progress of the nation. As long as the reform does not take place, neither economic growth can happen nor will the democratic structure be healthier. Nation prospers economically when there is peace and tranquility in the society.