October 20, 2005
IMC-USA, an advocacy group dedicated to protecting the rights of minorities and promoting pluralism, expressed dismay at the riots in Mau, a town in the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh. The extremist Hindutva-fascist group Hindu Vahini, headed by Mahant Adityanath of Gorakhpur, has been actively instigating and provoking violent acts in the area for quite some time. Mahant Adityanath, belonging to the BJP party, is a Member of Parliament. The widespread destruction of the local silk sari weaving industry by the riot instigators, is an oft repeated pattern of destroying the economic back bone of a specific community that depends on the trade for their survival.
IMC-USA commends the UP Chief Minister’s decision in removing five civil and police officials including the Divisional Commissioner and the District Magistrate. While the state government seems to have taken some decisive actions, it is evident that it was negligent in not restricting the activities of Hindu Vahini before the riots started. IMC-USA urges all the communities in the state of UP to have active outreach programs that promote mutual respect and marginalize the religious extremists.
IMC-USA presented a list of strategic requirements for the Uttar Pradesh state government to ensure justice for the victims and deterrence against future riots:
a) The state government should call for an investigation by CBI, the central investigation agency of India.
b) The government should ban Hindu Vahini and arrest its leaders and activists involved in rioting and spreading extremism.
c) The government should suspend all negligent officers-in-charge of thanas (police precincts) in the affected areas.
d) The government should ensure that all religious communities are represented in the manning of thanas (police precincts) of sensitive communities.
e) Prompt compensation for the loss of life and limbs should be paid to all victims.
f) Full and prompt compensation be paid for properties destroyed.
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