What Akhilesh Yadav won't tell: Inaction, administrative failure in Muzaffarnagar

MuzaffarnagarRelatives dig graves for the victims of the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar on Tuesday. Officials said 34 of the dead have been identified so far. More bodies were found on Tuesday. IE photo: Ravi Kanojia

With the death toll in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar nearing the 50 mark — the official count is 35 — Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has been quick to blame the violence on a political conspiracy to destabilise his government. But The Indian Express, after spending four days on the ground with riot-hit villagers , community leaders, police and administration officials, found specific examples that show delay, inaction and failure at several levels of the administration right up to the top.

Related: Azam Khan blames administration, SP govt

Consider these:

* A day after the riots began on September 7, it was not Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, but his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav who called an emergency meeting. This meeting hardly helped matters. No action was taken after a Jat mahapanchayat was called that afternoon as a response to the killing. By that night, at least 11 deaths had already been reported. Editorial: Communal conflict in UP must be checked

* On August 27, the day the first sparks flew in Kawaal village, police inaction was clear. Two young men, Gaurav and Sachin, killed one Shahnawaz after a petty quarrel. Both were lynched by angry residents of the village. "The assault went on for at least 30 minutes. There's a police outpost less than a kilometre from the scene of the crime no policeman showed up for one full hour, said Ramesh Chandra, a resident of Kawaal.

* Hours after this incident, SSP of Muzaffarnagar — under which Kawaal falls — Manzil Saini and District Magistrate Surender Singh were transferred. Their replacements took time to settle in, losing precious time in dealing with the situation. This, many say, created an administrative vacuum of sorts. "They were new to the district and there are several other things that need attention. The former SSP and DM knew the lay of the land. On August 27, no violence had taken place. It was only a localised incident that could have been handled differently. These knee-jerk transfers do not serve any purpose," said a senior police officer who did not wish to be named. Muzaffarnagar riots: 4 BJP MLAs, Cong leader booked for inciting mob

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.