Lucknow: Making a U-turn, BJP MP Hukum Singh on Tuesday said the “migration” of Hindus from Kairana in western Uttar Pradesh was “not communal” in nature but had more to do with the law and order situation even as he claimed the number of families that had to flee can go up to 400-500.
“It is not about communal incidents... It is not about Hindus or Muslims,” the Kairana MP told reporters here, adding it had more to do with the law and order situation.
“The list (of those who had to flee) will go on further, I believe. It can go up to 400-500. There is not one accused (who forced people to migrate), they are here in dozens,” Singh said.
No tension in Kairana
Kairana, a small town in Shamli district in Western Uttar Pradesh has always witnessed communal harmony even at a time when parts of the state remained highly polarised and charged during the Muzaffarnagar riots.
With nearly 80 per cent Muslims and 18 per cent Hindus in Kairana, there’s still no trace of communal tension even though rumours of a “Hindu exodus” spread thick and fast when the BJP MP and one of the accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, Hukum Singh, released a list of 346 people, claiming that they had left the village due to “threat and extortion by criminal elements belonging to a particular community.”
The BJP, on Monday, the concluding day of its crucial national executive at Allahabad, raised the bogey of “Hindu exodus from Kairana” saying, “UP should not take Kairana lightly, it is a shocking event.” Despite these rabble-rousing statements, people in Kairana — both Hindus and Muslims — want peace.
Shamli has had its own brush with a political tug of war in the past as far as its name was concerned. It was named Prabuddh Nagar by Mayawati, the then Chief Minister.
In July 2012, Shamli got its original name back because of Akhilesh Yadav, who later took charge of the state. The BJP has been accused of trying to “create another Muzaffarnagar” in this small town.
The politicians of the state are aware that any communal spark flickering in this area could spread rapidly and it would be “Muzaffarnagar phir ek baar,” said a Samajwadi Party leader.
Standing accused for spreading fear, a local Muslim, Abdul Afeez said, “We are living in the city for the past several generations and we never had any trouble.”
As for music, Kairana is the birthplace of a renowned school of Indian classical music, the Kirana Gharana, famous for its Khayal singing.