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Keyboard Warriors: As Bulldozers Roll in Prayagraj, Missing Oppn Wages Virtual War Against UP Govt

The bulldozing of the house of Javed Mohammad, the main accused of stone pelting and violence in UP’s Prayagraj amid the row over remarks against the Prophet, may have earned the Yogi Adityanath government both bouquets and brickbats but what has caught the eye of political pundits is the absence of opposition parties from the ground.

Most of the opposition leaders, including Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, have attacked the BJP government but only on Twitter, choosing a virtual battleground.

While Akhilesh Yadav has been proactively raising the issues related to the minority community, it is mostly limited to Twitter or other social media platforms. Tweeting a picture from the demolition of Javed’s house in Prayagraj, he wrote: “What kind of justice is this, where the one who is responsible for worsening the condition and strongly reacting around the world, is under security cover. But those who were protesting peacefully their house is being razed without any legal investigation? It is not allowed by our culture, neither religion, nor legislation, nor constitution.”

This comes at a time when the Samajwadi Party has asked its spokespersons to not give any kind of reaction or participate in any television debate on the issue. “We are not allowed to speak on this issue. We have no clue about the party’s next move on the issue,” said an SP spokesperson, requesting anonymity.

BSP chief Mayawati also questioned the razing down of the house and has alleged that the UP government is targeting one community and illegally bulldozing their houses to create an atmosphere of terror. “It is unfair and unjust to suppress the protest and create an atmosphere of fear and terror by targeting a particular community, bulldozer demolition and other malicious aggressive actions. The court must take cognizance of the faulty action of targeting the entire family by demolishing the houses,” she tweeted.

The BSP chief also questioned why BJP leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal were not yet arrested. She tweeted, “While the root cause of the problem is Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal, due to which the honor of the country was affected and violence broke out, why no action has been taken against them yet, why is the government making fun of law? Not sending both the accused to jail yet is grossly biased and unfortunate. They should be immediately arrested.”

She added: “In the bulldozer action being taken by the government ignoring the rules and regulations, not only innocent families are getting devastated but the houses of the innocents are also being demolished. In this sequence, demolishing the house of PM Awas Yojana was also unearthed, why so much injustice?”

Meanwhile, Congress UP in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who tested Covid-19 positive recently, failed to even tweet on the issue. However, speaking to News18, UP Congress spokesperson Anshu Awasthi said: “The Congress party never stands with the wrong. Whatever happened on Friday was also wrong and what has happened can also not be justified. Our party leaders will try to visit Prayagraj soon.”

Talking about the decision to raze down the house of the accused, Prayagaj DM Sanjay Khatri said the action was being taken against illegal construction. “The administration has been ordered to take action against any illegal construction, illegal occupation. For a long time, action has been taken by the Prayagraj Development Authority regarding the development of the city and the occupation by the mafia. All action is being taken following the legal process,” said DM Prayagraj.

An official of Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) said a JCB machine and a large police force reached Kareli police station at 10.30am on Sunday to demolish Javed’s two-storey house located at JK Ashiana, Kareli. Demolition was completed by 5pm with the help of two JCB machines and one Pokeland machine.

The official further informed that Javed’s house was built without passing the map from the PDA, for which notice was issued to him on May 10, 2022, and the date of May 24, 2022, was allotted to him to present his case. Neither Javed nor his lawyer appeared on the scheduled date or presented records and hence the demolition order was passed on May 25.

Post the violence and ruckus after Friday prayers in Prayagraj, 68 people were arrested and sent to jail within 24 hours. Of these, 64 adults were sent to Naini Central Jail, while four minors were sent to observation homes. Twenty-three others were also interrogated on the basis of CCTV footage. According to the SSP, action has been taken against a total of 91 people so far.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has given strict orders to the police and administration to take stringent action against miscreants which sets an example for anti-social elements.

On Saturday, the chief minister reviewed the law and order situation through video conferencing with District Magistrates, Superintendents of Police, Senior Superintendents of Police and top police and administrative officers across the state. He added that as citizens of a democratic country, one must maintain dialogue with all the parties.

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