Varun has cooked up stories of rape: Police official

March 19th, 2009 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party By Sharat Pradhan
Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh), March 19 (IANS) Varun Gandhi has cooked up stories of Hindu girls being raped in Pilibhit, a police official, who held charge of the district, has said. Local politicians added that the place was not “violence-prone” as claimed by the rookie Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader

“Varun has just cooked up stories of rape of Hindu girls; in each of the half a dozen rape cases sought to be highlighted by him, the accused was a Hindu, against whom appropriate action too had been taken,” the police officer, who held charge of Pilibhit until sometime back, told IANS on condition of anonymity.

“Varun’s obvious aim behind all the loud talk of Hindu persecution by Muslims was clearly aimed at forging a sharp communal divide to polarize a large chunk of the Hindu vote,” he said.

Leading politicians and police officials of the district have also rubbished Varun Gandhi’s loud declaration terming Pilibhit as a “violence-prone” place plagued with “communal discord”. They say it has no history of violence or communal disharmony.

The place is not known to be communally sensitive despite the fact that it has a mix of three large communities - Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs.

“Official records will tell you that there has been no major communal clash in this district in the two decades that I have been associated with this place,” said V.M. Singh, a prominent Samajwadi Party-turned-Congress leader, who has earned much credibility with farmers here on account of his commitment and dedication to their cause.

Even well-known Samajwadi Party leader Haroon Ahmed felt that “Varun Gandhi was talking off his hat if he said this place is violence-prone and that a lot of rapes were being committed here”.

Broadly, the constituency has over 300,000 Muslim voters, about 150,000 Sikhs and nearly 700,000 Hindu votes. Of the Hindus, there were some 250,000 Kurmi backwards, 150,000 Lodhi backwards, 200,000 Scheduled Castes and about 100,000 upper castes.

Even as Pilibhit shares borders with Uttarakhand and even Nepal, it has neither been among the key conduits for India-Nepal smuggling nor known for any cross-border violence of any kind.

“Only for a brief spell between the late 1980s and early 1990s, parts of Pilibhit figured as haven for Sikh terrorists fleeing Punjab,” said an inspector general of police who then held charge of the district.

Bulk of the population is into farming and because of rich soil, the area thrives in sugarcane cultivation, that has also given rise to as many as eight vibrant sugar mills in the region.

V.M. Singh, who besides being the Congress nominee from here, is also Maneka Gandhi’s estranged cousin, alleged: “Even Maneka has been winning the election from here by somehow ensuring polarisation of votes on religious lines.”

“I am told that her strong connections with Samajwadi Party bigwig Amar Singh helped her achieve that objective,” Singh told IANS.

Singh was of the view that “the selection of Riaz Ahmad as the Samajwadi Party nominee this time was a reflection of this underhand deal only”.

He added: “Who does not know that Riaz Ahmad had a very old nexus with Maneka, who fielded him as Sanjay Vichar Manch (floated by her in 1983, after her husband Sanjay Gandhi’s death)?”

Interestingly, Amar Singh chose to handpick Riaz against Satpal Gangwar, who had stood second in the 2004 Lok Sabha tally.

“The same old story is being repeated for Varun Gandhi now and I would not be surprised if all his utterances were part of a well-orchestrated design to polarise Muslims against Hindus,” Singh said.

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