Initiatives in Bawana against communalisation and riot-mongering

In the first week of October, as the festival of Id approached, in the Narela and Bawana areas of Delhi, a campaign against cow slaughter by a group calling itself the ‘Hindu Krantikari Sena’ was used to threaten and intimidate Muslims. In the backdrop of this ongoing campaign of communal hate and riot-mongering in Narela and Bawana, a team comprising CPI(ML) CC member and Delhi State Secretary Sanjay Sharma, CC Member Ravi Rai, comrades Surendra Panchal and Amarnath Tiwary, JNUSU Vice President Anant, JNUSU-SSS councillor Rama Naga, AISA activists Om Prasad, Radhika Krishnan and Rahul, as well as comrades Mathura Paswan, Saurabh Naruka and Munna Yadav from AICCTU visited Bawana JJ Colony area and met several families in Bawana and also with local activists and leaders working against the orchestrated communal hate mongering. The following facts were gathered by the team which visited Bawana.
Over the years, there have often been concerted attempts by politically motivated forces to deliberately vilify the atmosphere in Narela and Bawana through communal hate mongering. In 2012 for instance, completely unsubstantiated claims were made that Muslims were illegally ‘slaughtering cows’ during Id, creating a huge amount of communal tension in the area. This year too, under the banner of the ‘Hindu Krantikari Sena’, several inflammatory posters were put up in the area claiming that the ‘India-Pakistan war’ had reached Bawana, and asserting that the Hindu religion was under ‘threat’ from daily cow slaughter. On 2 October 2014, these communal forces alleged, with no evidence whatsoever, that a truckload of cows had been brought into the JJ colony for slaughter. There are also reports that a compliant regarding cows being brought into JJ colony had been made by calling the Police helpline number ‘100’. To worsen maters, the Police and local administration refused to reveal the source of the call and of this false ‘information’ about rampant cow slaughter by Muslims, despite repeated demands by the residents of JJ colony. Subsequent to this rumour, around 200 men – accompanied and escorted by some members of the Delhi Police – entered the colony and conducted a ‘search’ of any building they deemed ‘suspicious’. This also included one of the local mosques. No cow was found during this search. The search however obviously resulted in huge tensions and a palpable atmosphere of fear amongst Muslims in Bawana and Narela. During the ‘search’, there were also incidents of violence, intimidation and stone pelting. In all, the whole point of the entire exercise of ‘searching’ the colony was clearly to spread communal hatred and division and to disturb the peace and amity in the entire region.
After these incidents of 2 October, the residents of JJ colony demanded proper surveillance and security by the government and the local administration. They demanded that the police closely monitor the situation, and prevent any attempt to plant ‘evidence’ of cows in the locality to implicate the Muslims and further exacerbate the situation. These demands assumed all the more importance given that on late night of 3 October, there were allegedly attempts by some Hindu men to release cows in the area as ‘evidence’. Despite repeated demands, the local police did not take adequate steps to control this volatile situation. They did not reveal the call details, or take any action against the person who falsely complained that a truck load of cows had been brought into the area. On 5 October, the local administration allowed the Hindu Krantikari Sena to conduct a huge meeting and ‘Oath Taking’ against cow slaughter on the eve of Id, where inflammatory speeches were made.
As a result of the intervention of democratic forces who have expressed their horror at the unfolding communal tensions being orchestrated in Narela and Bawana, some deployment of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) has finally made in the area on 5 October – as per the demand of the residents of the JJ colony. CPI(ML) and other democratic forces who visited Bawana assured the residents of their complete support in the face of this highly condemnable communal hate mongering. AICCTU leaders in the Narela industrial area established close contact with the residents of JJ colony so that immediate and coordinated resistance can be organized in case of any orchestrated communal flare-up. CPI(ML) demanded from the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, the union Home Ministry as well as the Delhi Police take full responsibility of the safety and security of the residents of Bawana JJ colony by providing adequate 24×7 security and surveillance as per the demands of the local people. CPI(ML) also demanded that on the day of Id (6 October), responsible authorities should be deputed to remain in the area all the time, in order to ensure that the communal tensions do not escalate and that no untoward incident occurs, and that the Delhi Police should immediately file charges and take action against the person who falsely complained to the Police that cow slaughter was being planned in JJ colony, thus deliberately instigating communal tensions in the entire region of Narela and Bawana.
On 6 October, as news came in that the RAF deployment had been removed from Bawana, CPI(ML), AISA and AICCTU leaders once again went to Bawana to ensure that that the Delhi Police takes adequate steps so that the situation does not escalate into riots and violence. As a result of the timely intervention of democratic forces, large scale violence was prevented despite the well-orchestrated communal tensions.