Muzaffarnagar 2013

Kafila: Muzaffarnagar 2013 – Violence by Political Design: Centre for Policy Analysis

September 18, 2013
Tags: Muzaffarnagar communal violence 2013, Samajwadi Party
by Nivedita Menon

This fact-finding exercise was coordinated by the CENTRE FOR POLICY ANALYSIS. Team members were the human rights activist and former civil servant Harsh Mander; former Director-General of the Border Security Force, E N Rammohan; Professor Kamal Mitra Chenoy of Jawaharlal Nehru University; National Integration Council member John Dayal; senior journalist Sukumar Muralidharan and CPA Director and senior editor Seema Mustafa.

Introduction and Overview

The first impression of the Muzaffarnagar countryside, now green with the sugarcane ripening for harvest, is of utter desolation. Villages are tense with fear. Kasbas and hamlets are purged of their Muslim presence and the Hindu quarters have also emptied out in a self-imposed curfew even at midday, as women and children peep out from behind closed doors and windows, their menfolk having fled to avoid arrest as criminal complaints are made out against them. Fear is in the air. The atmosphere reeks of embitterment and betrayed trust, with neighbour now unwilling to trust neighbour, and apprehensive of ever returning to their accustomed lives. All the evidence points towards people who were forced to flee their habitations in sheer terror and seek out the safety of gathering among others of their own faith, occupying any vacant space in areas where they could be sure of not being targets just because of who they were.

“We will never go back to our villages”, say Muslim women refugees in a makeshift camp in the tehsil town of Budhana, some twenty kilometres from Muzaffarnagar. Read more »