A report by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) confirms the controversial claims made by BJP MP Hukum Singh, who had earlier this year said that 250 Hindu families had fled Kairana in the Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh out of fear.
The report, compiled after interviews with relevant witnesses, victims and concerned police and administrative officials, has concluded that the alleged exodus took place due to fear of the members of a particular community, which was in majority in the area.
The four-member fact finding team comprising deputy superintendent of police P Ravi Singh and inspectors Suman Kumari, Saroj Tiwari and Arun Kumar visited different places in Kairana town, Muzaffarnagar and Panipat in Haryana before coming up the report, which was released on the NHRC website on Wednesday.
"The team obtained a list of 346 displaced families/persons from Kairana MP Hukum Singh's personal secretary. Out of that list, three residential localities were selected and at least six alleged victims/displaced families/persons were randomly chosen for verification. The team also had telephonic verification from at least four displaced families mentioned in the list, who had migrated to distant places like Dehradun (Uttarakhand) and Surat (Gujarat)." Jaimini Kumar Srivastava, NHRC's deputy director (media & communication), was quoted as saying by the Times of India to explain the methodology followed to generate the report.
The NHRC panel is also seeking a report from Uttar Pradesh chief secretary and director general of police to determine what action has been taken by them after they received the NHRC findings and recommendations that were submitted to the state government on June 23.
"At least 24 witnesses stated that the youths of the specific majority community (Muslims in this case) in Kairana town pass lewd/taunting remarks against the females of the specific minority community in town. Due to this, females of the specific minority community (Hindus) in Kairana town avoid going outside frequently. However, they could not gather courage to report the matter to the police for the legal action," the report says.
It also confirms the terror of Mukim Kala gang in the region. "The notorious gang leader Mukim Kala had committed at least 47 cases of robbery, murder, dacoity, extortion and violation of the Arms Act during a span of just 5 years between 2010 and 2015, in the states of UP, Haryana and Uttarakhand," the report says.
Attempting to explain the underlying cause of communal tension, the report asserts that the resettlement of over 25,000 members of the minority community in the aftermath of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots led to a major change in the demography of many towns in the region, including Kairana.
"Most of the witnesses and victims feel that the rehabilitation in 2013 has permanently changed the social situation in Kairana town leading to further deterioration of law and order in the area," the report says.
Kairana MP Hukum Singh had alleged in June that the Hindu families had migrated from the town, leaving behind properties, since they feared criminals who enjoyed political patronage. The issue blew up, with BJP accusing the ruling Samajwadi Party of pursuing minority appeasement policies. The NHRC team was constituted on a complaint filed by Supreme Court lawyer Monika Arora after reports regarding the Kairana exodus surfaced.