My Visit To Riot-Affected Ratlam

By V.K. Tripathi,

A communal conflagration erupted in Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh) on September 3, 2010 on the issue of defacing Danipura mosque by cow dung (gobar) at the time of evening prayer. Few doors in the neighbourhood were damaged, a few vehicles were also damaged but no person was hurt. Few hours later a confrontation erupted between Muslims and police which took a very serious turn. Some people pelted stones on police and the latter resorted to traumatic house to house search in Sheranipura, beating a large number of people and arresting hundreds of them. Even after eight days majority of those arrested were behind the bars. The anguished Muslim community did not celebrate Eid (on September 11) in Ratlam district as well as in the adjoining districts of Mandsor and Neemach. People displayed a black ribbon on their hand as a mark of protest against the police action.
I learnt about the incident on September 8 through an e-mail from Dr. Sujat Vali from Godhra. When I called him, he gave the phone number of his sister Shabana who lives in Ratlam. Shabana apprised me of the tense situation in Ratlam. I called Mr. L.S. Hardenia, a prominent secular activist in Bhopal, he also furnished some details. I decided to go to Ratlam on the day of Eid.

I left Delhi on the night of September 10 by Swaraj Express and reached Ratlam at 7: 45 AM. I informed Shabana and her husband Mr. Munawar Jiva Khan of my arrival and said that I would reach their home after meeting DM and SP and visiting the site where trouble began. I started walking towards the city. On my way I went to a medical store and talked to its owner, a middle aged Sikh. He said that the riot had occurred in Mochipura, Sheranipura, Danipura area. I went to that area. As I entered Mochipura I was struck by the poverty of the area. The city has a population of 3 lakh, of which 1 lakh are Jains/ Baniyas, 60 thousand Muslims and rest others. Mochipura and Danipura are mixed populations. I talked to Muslims standing near a mosque. One of them, a barber, said that there was no quarrel between Hindus and Muslims, only police had tortured and robbed them and put their dear ones in prison. Similar tales I heard from several others. As I proceeded ahead, I saw 5 police men standing on a platform. I talked to them, gave a copy of Sadbhav Mission Patrika and explained the purpose of my visit. I was surprised by their positive response. After I left they read the magazine and informed the Additional Superintendent of Police about the goal of my visit. The ASP expressed his willingness to meet me.

A victim with plastered hand

I walked to the Danipura Mosque. There were signs of cow dung spray on the side wall of the mosque, however, it could not be a cause of a major confrontation. Muslims say cow dung was thrown at the door of the mosque also but there was no one inside the mosque with whom I could confirm. Police later told me that Imam was in prison. I talked to two middle aged Gurjars (there are 15 Gurjar families on two sides of the mosque who have buffalos and sell milk) outside their homes. One of them said that this was the only cow dung on the mosque wall. The other said that he had filed a complaint with Jan Sunwai ten days ago as loudspeaker at the mosque was very loud. On September 3, around 5 PM police came for an enquiry. After the police left, people from the mosque came and said why did he not talk directly to them and thus a quarrel developed. He showed his door and the door of a neighbour that were damaged on that day. Some electrical appliance was also damaged. But it was not something that happens in a riot.

As I was returning from the mosque two policemen came and said that the Additional Superintendent of Police Mr. Vyas wanted to meet me. In a little while he arrived along with Additional District Magistrate Mr. Saluja, Deputy Collector and DSP. I told them the purpose of my visit and what I input I had got from the people. They said that when tension continued police came to the mosque, then several thousand people assembled with swords and other arms. I said that during Ramzan people assemble in large numbers for Taravih prayer but they do not have arms. There might be may be 50 or 100 people with some sort of arms but not more. The ASP agreed with my assessment. Then he said, when police tried to disperse them they resorted to stone pelting. As police chased them, they went into a big mosque and someone went on the mike and started shouting Islam is in danger, then police had to carry the counter offensive and search operation and arrests were made. I argued with them for half an hour about the need for restraint as most people affected by such operations are innocent. I gave them a copy of People Centric Nationalism and copies of Sadbhav Mission Patrika. From there I went to the big mosque. Every one over there was complaining of police excesses. Then I went to Nagar Qazi. There were five members of the family. They greeted me with warmth and openness. Their version of the incident was objective and unbiased. They had praise for DIG Ved Prakash Sharma and advised me to meet him.

At 1 PM I reached Shabana and Jiva Khan’s place. They were immensely warm and offered me lunch. Shaban connected me to Congress President Dr. rajesh Sharma. He was out of town, however, he said he had met the DM in this connection and was in touch with Mr. Kanti Lal Bhuria, MP from Ratlam and Minister of state at the Center. Mr. Bhuria is out the country and would return on the 18th. Mr. Khan later took me to Manav Kalyan organization president Mr. Agarwal. He had all praise for police action and blamed Muslims. I could understand his position when he showered praise on Modi. From there we went to the residence of Ms Yasmin, President Mahila Congress. She was also arrested but was released same day. She was deeply anguished by police atrocities. From there we went to DM’s residence. He was home but busy. Then we went to DIG’s residence. He was warm and said that he was working on how to release hundred or so people who were in prison. It was 6PM by then and Mr. Jivakhan took me to train station.
The incidence has caused deep wound physical as well psychological on the Muslims who are economically hard pressed in Ratlam. The arrested persons must be released without delay, people must be compensated for the damage caused during the search operation (some even allege that money and ornaments were taken away) and it must be investigated why the situation was not handled tactfully and why innocent people in such huge numbers were implicated when there was no injury to anyone.

(The author teaches at Delhi-IIT)

Communal Riots 2009

The year 2009 also did not witness major riots and this pattern is continuing since Gujarat riots of 2002. However, no year so far has been riot-free year. Communal violence erupts on smaller scale in different places throughout India. It is interesting to note that since Mumbai riots of 1992-93 there was no major communal riot until Gujarat riots in 2002 except in Coimbatore in 1998 in which about 40 persons were killed. Similarly since Gujarat riots of 2002 there has been no major communal riots except in Kandhamal, Orissa, in which also around 40 persons were killed.

The year 2009 began with the UN condemning slow progress of probe in communal riots in Gujarat and called for speedy justice in its report published on 7th February. “A large number of criminal cases relating to the communal violence in 2002 remained uninvestigated or have been closed by the Gujarat Police and the miserable plight of those internally displaced from their homes continues” said the UN Report by Human Rights Council. It was indeed matter of shame that the UN Human Rights Council had to remind us of that. In fact it is Narendra Modi’s deep rooted communalism and arrogance of power which brought such disgrace to our country.

Fortunately January remained riot-free but with February communal situation began to slip down the slippery slope. It began with Nanded in Maharashtra. Maharashtra is one of the communally most sensitive states though it has been ruled by the Congress most of the time. In the centre of Nanded town near Railway station two youth belonging to Hindu and Muslim communities had quarrel and soon it acquired communal overtones and five youth were injured and had to be hospitalized. It began with eve teasing of girls belonging to one community and youth of two communities came out on the streets and violence erupted. Sharp edged weapons were openly used. One of the injured was in critical condition. All shops in the area downed their shutters. However, the police controlled the situation quickly.

It happened in Tanda town of Ambedkar Nagar when murder of Ramjor took place communal violence erupted and one house and several shops of minority community were set on fire. The police acted promptly and police force and PAC were sent to control the situation. However, much damage was not done and police controlled it in time.

M.P. is another sensitive state since BJP has taken over. On 11th March communal violence broke out in Mahidpur of Ujjain district which has considerable Muslim population. Some Muslims returning after the Prophet Day’s procession were asked to avoid a route where Ramayana recitation was going on but they insisted on taking that route and communal violence broke out in which one person was killed and 17 persons were injured. The police had resorted to firing and one person was killed in police firing. About 24 persons were arrested.

Festivals like Holi, Diwali or Ganesh Chaturthi generally witness outbreak of communal violence in number of places. On 11th March on the occasion of Holi four U.P. towns witnessed communal violence. These towns were Benaras, Azamgarh, Lucknow and Bareli. In all four persons were killed and more than 22 people were injured. Curfew had to be imposed in several parts of two cities. Police bandobast was made in all these cities to check further spreading of violence. Of these two persons were killed in firing in suburb of Benaras after colour was thrown on some Muslims. These incidents took place in Vellur and Bazari Deh and two police officers in charge of these police stations were suspended. The high police officials were camping here to keep situation under control.

The other incident took place in Khilafatpur of Azamgarh district where one person was killed and two persons were injured. In Lucknow in Nawagaon area one person was shot dead. In Bareily old city also two people of communities clashed on throwing colour and five persons were injured. And in Faridpur area one person was killed during Prophet day’s celebration.

During Holi festival reports of violent clashes from other places was also received. In Ghazipur U.P. a six year old girl was killed and several persons injured. Also from Bihar there were reports of 3 persons killed in Chapra and Nawada districts. In Delhi too one tailor was stabbed to death.

Again in Maharashtra in Rabodi area of Thane, near Mumbai, communal violence broke out after road accident. Police fired more than 30 rounds when the mob refuse to disperse. According to the eye witnesses about seven Autorickshaws, one milk van, four shops and three houses were set on fire near Kranti Nagar and rioters hurled stones and soda bottles at the police. Two police inspectors suffered serious head injuries. Rabodi had witnessed violent communal clashes in September 2008 also on the occasion of Navratri.

In South Karnataka also communal violence broke out and some mosques were seriously damaged on 15th March. It was alleged by the congress members in the Karnataka Assembly that volunteers of the Sangh Parivar (family) were in the forefront of the violence and police completely failed to control violence. It was even alleged that Ram Sena leader Pramod Muthallik and others were trying to convert Karnataka into another Gujarat. Karnataka has been witnessing attacks on Christians and churches also. It was also alleged by the Congress and other secular activists that on the eve of General elections BJP was trying to polarize Karnataka to win elections.

On 4th April Pusad witnessed communal violence in which a Muslim couple and a Hindu boy was killed. Pusad and Digras in Yavatmal district also had witnessed serious communal violence in 2008 on the occasion of Holi and now on 7th April 2009 Pusad again came under spell of communal violence. In 2008 it was in Digras that police brutally assaulted Muslims and broke their homes, looted cash and broke their T.V. sets, fridges and even water vessels. This time Police repeated these atrocities against Muslims in Pusad. In 2008 R.R.Patil was Home Minister and in 2009 Jayant Patil was Home Minister. Neither R.R.Patil took any action against the police nor Jayant Patil though video clippings of police atrocities were shown. So much for secularism of the Maharashtra Congress. And all this happened on the occasion of General elections. It was because of such communal violence that the seat went to the Shiv Sena. It was the Congress’s own loss. Many riots are organized just to win elections. One can call it winning elections through murder and killing. Pusad and Digras in Maharashtra have become communally highly sensitive thanks to VHP, Shiv Sena and other communal organizations and mysterious silence, nay approval of the congress. It appears congress government deliberately posts rank communal police officers in these places. Police becomes looters and rioters in uniform. Besides one mosque 45 houses belonging to Muslims were set to fire. The Ram Navmi procession comprising 20,000 people was taken out with loud speakers loudly playing the tune Mandir Vahin Banayenge (we will construct Mandir on that place only). The procession stopped near Mohammadi Masjid and indulged in stone throwing and rioting broke out. And this happened despite the fact that many Muslim leaders had welcomed the procession in Lohar lane to promote communal amity.

Next Anand in Gujarat came under the spell of communal violence on 27th May. A 14 year old Muslim girl was murdered by a non-Muslim youth who later committed suicide. The girl’s throat was slit with sharp edged weapon. This led to clashes between two communities. According to the police there was massive stoning by both sides on each other five houses were burnt down. However, no one was killed. The police seem to have controlled the situation.

Assam which is normally not very communally sensitive witnessed communal riot on May 28. In this riot five persons were killed and hundreds more rendered homeless following communal clash in Western Assam’s Kokrajahr district. The police said that the trouble had erupted over a piece of temple land, after some hooligans drove out people living there. The residents alleged that a local police officer had played partisan role and demanded his removal, which was opposed by the members of another community.

In Nanded, Maharashtra communal violence broke out on June 18 when some people from Chopala area of the town objected to drugs being sold. The mischief mongers gave it a communal turn and members of both communities began to attack each other in which about 7 persons, including two women were injured and had to be admitted in the Government Hospital. The electric connections were severed and indulged in communal violence in darkness. However, police reached in time and brought the situation under control.

Mysore has been a peaceful town but under the BJP rule whole of Karnataka is turning communally sensitive. Mysore also came under the wave of communal violence on 3rd July in which 3 persons were killed. Communal flare up took place on the question of desecration of a religious school. Police fired in the air and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the mob. Prohibitory orders were enforced in four police station areas. In Udaigiri scores of houses were set on fire in Kyathanamaranahalli. However the incidents soon spread over to other areas like Udaigiri, Gayatripuram II stage and Rajivnagar. The rioters snatched the pistol of an inspector many houses were looted and set afire, police said. The tension continued next day also and a BJP leader who was seated in a car with a Muslim friend was stabbed though, stabbing was connected with a financial dispute.

After Mysore it was Shahpur area of Ahmedabad which was engulfed in communal violence on 17th August in which about 8 persons were injured. The violence broke out after alleged desecration of an idol in a temple. However, according to another source the real cause was playing music before the mosque. The whole area was littered with stones and pieces of glasses. Shahpur is a Muslim majority area of Ahmedabad city.

Interviews with local residents showed that the trouble had begun a week ago when some people tried to build a temple near the Ahmedi mosque opposite the Nagoriwad police Chowkey. Yet another version was that the mosque authorities objected to the noisy procession, as evening Namaz was being offered. Nearly half a dozen houses were torched and property damaged on both sides in the clashes and many injured. Many police officers were also injured among others. It was also reported in some newspapers that two people were stabbed from minority community and were seriously injured.

During the Ganesh festival in September Maharashtra again witnessed communal violence in places like Sangli, Miraj and Icchalkaranji in Kolhapur district on 7-9 September. Ichhalkaranji which has population of 3 lakhs and is a textile town. Even after a month when I met some Muslims from Icchalkaranji they were living in fear. In fact riots had spread to other towns like Sangli and Miraj also. Extensive damage was done to 60 Mosques and Dargahs in the whole region.

During the Ganesh festival in this region of Western region various Ganesh Pandals were put up on which arches and posters showing Shivaji killing Afzal Khan were shown and this was objected to by some Muslims and it also became a controversy between the Congress and Shiv Sena-BJP and communal violence broke out. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr. Ashok Chavan accusing the communal parties of fanning the riots for a political capital.

Mr. Gopinath Munde, the BJP leader from Maharashtra on the other hand, blamed the Congress for communal flare up exploiting it for electoral purposes. There is a proof, if any proof is needed that communal violence is used mainly for electoral purposes by political parties. However, one hope-giving feature of these rioting was that Hindu women in villages where mosques were damaged not only repaired these mosques but also provided protection to the Muslims in villages and persuaded them not to migrate to other places.

On 13th November we held one day workshop on Women for Secularism in Icchalkaranji in which many women from these villages who repaired mosques and saved Muslim lives in villages were also invited. I heard them speak and was inspired from their determination to fight communal forces. It gave me new confidence in the people of India to keep India secular. They were mostly illiterate village women who came out so strongly against communal forces. Again the communal riots were sparked to exploit religious sentiments for electoral purposes.

Another thing to be noted is that Icchalkaranji, as pointed out, is a textile town and was once stronghold of left trade unions. It went into flames like Bhivandi, another textile town near Mumbai, went up in flames in 1970 and 1984 communal violence. The Left trade union workers get as easily polarized in religious camps as other people. The left ideology hardly protects them from communal ideology.

On 23rd September Jaisalmer, Rajasthan saw communal frenzy in which one person died and 10 persons were seriously injured when a religious structure was demolished which was disputed in Fatehgarh area of Jaisalmer. Also a dozen shops and four vehicles were burnt and offices of SDM and Tehsildar were ransacked. Jaisalmer is a border town and Pakistan is just a few kilometers away from there. The Muslims of Jaisalmer can hardly be distinguished from Hindus culturally or linguistically. It has no history of communal violence either. Yet the BJP rule in Rajasthan gave Phillip to communal forces in the area.

On October 24 communal tension erupted in Shravasti town near Bahraich in U.P. when meat pieces were found inside a mosque. The Muslims of the town blocked the road and threw stones and attacked vehicles. The protestors blocked the Bahraich-Shravasti road for hours and tried to torch buses. According to the police, people noticed pieces of meat near the mosque but when they entered the gate of the mosque they found more pieces of meat and in no time some 500 people gathered shouting slogans and demanding arrest of those responsible. Some people of the town had dispute with members of minority community and they might have left pieces of meat inside the mosque. Some 14 persons were identified.

This was, in short, the account of communal violence in the year 2009. In all during 2009 23 lives were lost and 73 people injured. It is very difficult to estimate loss of properties but undoubtedly public and private properties put together it would run into hundreds of crores of rupees. Also, it would be observed that riots took place in U.P., Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, M.P., Assam and Gujarat.

However, there were no riots in West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Also, very few riots took place in this year in Gujarat and maximum riots took place in Maharashtra. This year hardly any riot was reported from Baroda in Gujarat which is highly communally sensitive state. Thus we can say while there is some improvement in Gujarat in terms of occurrence of communal violence in Maharashtra we witness no such improvement.

The government in Maharashtra is secular but has no political will to curb activities of the Shiv Sena. Shiv Seainiks can get away with anything. Also the Shiv Sena mouthpiece continues to be highly abrasive and no law applies to it. About Gujarat touch communal violence has gone down but not communalization. Since 2002 riots brought great disgrace to Narendra Modi he is unwilling, at least for the present, to have more communal violence but there is hardly any let up in communalization and polarization on the basis of religion. The great divide between Hindus and Muslims continues to be what it was in 2002 and Gujarat continues to be Hindutva laboratory.

It is also to be noted as pointed out earlier, there has been no major communal disaster after 2002 except in Kandhamal in Orissa. However, there is one difference that in Orissa BJP was a junior partner in Government and though it could inflict communal damage once in Kandhamal, the process could not continue as in Gujarat. Navin Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Orissa realized his mistake in allying with the BJP and he broke with it after the Kandhmal riots. This rupture stopped the process of Hinduization of Orissa.

However, in Gujarat, BJP was the real boss and hence after 2002 there was no such rupture and hence the process of communalization remained steady. If communalization goes on communal violence can be organized when needed. Communal violence cannot go on, on major scale for obvious reasons. And in U.P. and Bihar, the two states of Hindi belt which often witnessed major riots during eighties, communal politics there was seriously weakened due to emergence of caste-based parties there like Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Janata Dal (United) etc.

There has been great change in power equation in the Hindi belt though small skirmishes continue there. Tamil Nadu and Kerala were always dominated by caste and left politics respectively. But in both the states there was eruption of communal violence temporarily. In Tamil Nadu the Hindu Munnani, an OBC party experienced a temporary rise after conversion to Islam in Meenakshipuram and because of clashes between OBC and Dalits. However, communal politics could not be sustained on a long term basis.

In Kerala too RSS tried to find its foothold in a section of society which was left out of power equations. It did succeed to some extent and apart from clashes between RSS and CPM, riots occurred between Hindus and Muslims also but only on few occasions. Assam though not a communal prone state but after ASSU movement in early eighties the Rajasthani business community there felt highly insecure and hence brought in RSS and communalized polity to some extent. However, it succeeds in engineering communal violence here and there but it is difficult to sustain communal discourse in Assam also for historical, cultural and linguistic reasons.

All this abundantly proves that communalism is a political and not a religious phenomenon and that communal graph goes up and down depending on political dynamics of a region. It gives us hope that bewildering diversity of Indian society cannot sustain communal violence on long term basis. If communal violence erupts it is more because of weakness of secular forces than the strength of communal forces.

Secular parties often loose courage and political will in the face of communal onslaught at certain junctures. If secular parties show courage and strong political will there is no reason communalism will have long lease of life.

Communal Riots During 2008

Admin Note (10th Jan 2009): Some articles were inadvertently released through our regular blog feed at around 6:00 pm PST today. Please ignore the same and we apologize for the inconvenience caused.

Christian Protest Against ViolenceWhen the year 2008 began it appeared it might be riot-free year for the first time in 60 years after independence. However, soon this hope was belied and riots began to take place as every year. Though again most of the riots were not major towards the end of the year even that hope was belied. Also as usual police behaviour was totally partial though with few exceptions and minorities received drubbing. Continue reading Communal Riots During 2008

Muslims Should Adopt Advocacy Instead Of Protests

Hyderabad ProtestsThe number of Muslim students in India’s better universities, engineering colleges, medical colleges, IITs, IIMs, IIScs etc despite much growth of such institutions in recent years still hovers around a miserly two percent. Lack of education among the Muslim youth and their lack of competitiveness were recently pointed out by the Sachar Committee, who conducted a nationwide grassroots survey of the Muslim community, as a significant impediment to the community’s progress.
Continue reading Muslims Should Adopt Advocacy Instead Of Protests

Death Of A Patriot

On the 24th of last month, the body of a 94 year old poet prince was led to rest. He was Imamuddin Khan Babi, who wrote poetry by the pen name of Ruswa Mazloom, and was the erstwhile ruler of Pajod, a small jagir in Junagadh district of Gujarat. Few in India have heard his name, and even fewer know that in spite of being the jagirdaar of one of the smallest princely states in India he towered above the other princes of pre-independent India. Continue reading Death Of A Patriot

The Case Of A Missing Fatwa

Indian Express carried a news today that Darul Uloom Deoband denies issuing any fatwa regarding Muslims killed during Gujarat genocide of 2002.

No fatwa issued regarding Guj victims: Darul Uloom
Posted online: Thursday , February 28, 2008 at 06:00:45
Updated: Thursday , February 28, 2008 at 06:20:45

Muzaffarnagar, February 28: Leading Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband denied that it has issued any fatwa (edict) saying Muslims who were killed in the Gujarat riots should be treated as martyrs under Shariat law.

The incharge of the fatwa department Mufti Habibur Rehman said that reports in a section of the press saying Gujarat victims should be treated as martyrs were ‘incorrect’.

The seminary has not issued any fatwa regarding the victims of the Gujarat riots, he said.

But Darul Ifta (fatwa department) of Darul Uloom has on their website a fatwa issued just 10 days ago.

Those who were killed in Gujarat, what is their status, can we call them Shahid according to Islam?
Answer: 2767 12 Feb, 2008

(Fatwa: 71/71=L)

Those who were killed during riots in Gujrat are real shaheed; they may be called as shaheed.

وکذا یکون شھیداً لو قتلہ باغ او حربی الخ (الدر المختار مع الشامی: 3/160، ط زکریا دیوبند)

and Allah (Subhana Wa Ta’ala) Knows Best

Darul Ifta, Darul Uloom Deoband

I am not sure who messed up here, Darul Uloom or the IE but someone should have cross checked it on their website and the responsibility of that falls on the newspaper.

The strange thing about this strange news is why Darul Uloom will deny this fatwa which definitely exists. Even if it didn’t exist do they not believe that a Muslim who dies because of his faith will be considered shaheed?

Communal Riots Report 2007

Every year we monitor communal riots in India. Here is the account of riots, which took place in 2007, which we could monitor through various sources. The first minor riot took place in Bandi district, near Jaipur in Rajasthan on 18th January. Five persons were injured and 7 shops were set to fire when riot broke out when persons belonging to Muslims entered a Gym about which there was controversy and fight broke out between persons belonging to two communities. Of the five persons injured one was a policeman and seven shops burnt resulted in huge economic loss. Police brought the rioting under control and curfew was imposed.

Continue reading Communal Riots Report 2007

Whose India Is This, Anyway? – Part II

Hindu ExtremistsIn the first part of this article I argued why I consider Hindu militant nationalism practiced by RSS/ VHP brand of politics the greatest threat being faced by Indian nation. Expectedly my observation raised objections – most of them well meaning- that classifying communalism as minority or majority is self defeating as it tries to rationalize minority communalism. I admit that this is a sensitive territory and it may appear that I am trying to find excuses for minority communalism. However, let me state once again that it is not my intention here to rationalize anything. I am trying to understand the potential and possible impacts of communalism on the fabric of Indian nation and it is my conclusion that Hindu militancy has a much greater potential and likelihood to sabotage India’s future than anything else. Continue reading Whose India Is This, Anyway? – Part II

Why the mistrust?

img261/8742/jamaateulemaprotestcalcxp1.jpgThe trust of people on the protectors of law and order in a country is imperative for peace to exist. Any mistrust could escalate violence by acting as an incipient point for crime. Cooperation between the police and the public ensures that people are comfortable divulging secret information and helping the police in every way possible to nab the criminal. The protectors of law are a support to the people, someone who could be dependent on in times of distress. Efficient judiciary coupled with agile police force is something which every country aims at.

Unfortunately Muslims in India have been a victim of police biasness. This prejudice has been fueled by the bloody partition. Allegations of being a Pakistani are levied on Indian Muslims on account of common religion and thus the word ‘traitor’ finds a synonym with Muslims. The law & order and judicial system of this country is heavily biased against the poorer section of the society, this biasness multiplies in case of poor Muslims. There have been incidents of indiscriminate firing on Muslims which have completely evaporated the trust of Indian Muslim on the police.

During the Gujarat riots of 2002 many newspapers published special stories regarding the divide existing in the metros in India. In a story regarding Delhi someone from a Muslim majority area was quoted as, “We are safe here. The only thing that can destroy us here is air bombing”. Now this is being extremely cynical but this definitely offers some insight on the kind of mistrust that exists among ordinary Muslims. Recent terrorism has further contributed to this prejudice existing among non-Muslims.

Hashimpura is another sordid incident in this regard. Police firing during the riots are also known for killing more Muslims even though there are more Hindu rioters. Police is so biased against Muslims that incidents against them are assumed as a matter of internal feud or link to the international terrorism. Security is denied on these grounds.

We have to look into solutions for the above problem. The thing to be noted here is that the prejudice is more prominent among the under-privileged (economically) section of the society. Our police force is mainly composed of men from this section. Increasing the number of Muslims in police force is our best bet. An increased proportion could imply a less biased approach. Plus increased interaction could possibly reduce the hatred that fuels such incidents. we compare the unbiased army with the police force then it can be easily concluded that the affect of politicians on the functioning of police is apparent. The police force takes orders from heads, who is turn are under the influence of politicians. If you see the early history of Roman Empire, when it was a republic under the Senate, then you will realise that the army was strictly kept away from the city limits. Warmonger generals were asked to keep their armies near the borders to guard. This helped in giving the Senate more power, without fear of being questioned by a armed force, to govern; corruption is another thing. The great empire finally declied because this law was broken by Julies Caesar. India’s biggest achievement and Pakistan’s biggest failure has been in this regard; the former kept it armies and generals away from politics but the later failed in this regard and hence proved a failed state in which any mushy-bushy general can capture power. Army represents strength, with this strength comes ego and this ego through the path of self-conceit insinuates the lust for power within generals. This was a digression. My point is to keep the police force away from the influence of politicians. Modi’s orders, to the police, to help the social workers carry out their work during the riots of 2002 is not hidden anymore. Similar was the case with anti-Sikh riots after the assassination of Indra Gandhi and perhaps this tale repeats itself in every riot. So again our best bet lies in keeping the police force away from this influence. This clubbed with increased proportion of Muslims in the army could work wonders.

Saying all these, the impetus is on Indian Muslims to come forward and join the police force in greater numbers. Blaming the government for each and every woe doesn’t solve the purpose. I just don’t buy the argument that the biasness if the sole reason responsible for lesser number of Muslims in the police force.