Hindus of Dhanpura village in Haridwar district, Uttarakhand are sitting on hunger strike to protest their harassment by Muslims in the area, and to demand security from the Government. There are reports that around 60 Hindu families have left the village since 1994 due to similar harassment and communal tensions.
There has been a steep decline in population of Hindus in Haridwar district and other parts of South Uttrakhand due to heavy Muslim migration from other parts, particularly from UP – as per Census 2011, Hindus constitute 64% and Muslims 34% of the population.
As per a Dainik Jagran report, one Pankaj Saini has been sitting in protest for the last 11 days stating that the ex-head of the village and few Muslims have filed false cases against him & his family. Alleging police inaction, members of Hindu organizations had picketed Ferrupur police station and blocked the Haridwar-Luxor route a few days back – police had lodged a case against 40 activists.
Local MLA from Ranipur, BJP’s Adesh Chauhan has supported Pankaj Saini’s protest. VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi also came to meet him on Thursday and asked the administration to look into the matter on priority. She also said she would also meet Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat to seek his intervention.
English language media outlets like Time of India have quite predictably picked up the Sadhvi’s visit to reduce this serious issue as ‘just another controversy stoked by the firebrand right-wing leader’.
District authorities have also denied any such exdous from the village to TOI – which come as no surprise as this is the time-tested response of the police & Government machinery, as was in evidence even during the Kairana exodus when despite all denials, the exodus was clearly proven true by an NHRC probe. From a system which fears being branded ‘communal’ after decades of secular conditioning, this is an expected response.
However, the same TOI reports quotes former gram pradhan of Dhanpura, Ram Pal, as saying, “There has never been any mass exodus from the village. However, some Hindu families voluntarily left the area some six years ago due to communal tension. The village has a population of 40% Hindus and the communal rift is palpable mostly during festivals.”
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