New Delhi, March 19: Political parties stoke communal sentiments to garner votes, says a report on the Muzaffarnagar riots released here Wednesday to educated voters ahead of the general elections.
Compiled by activists under the banner of the Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity (FDCA), the report claims to “help people decide whom to vote for”.
“A seven-member FDCA team visited the riot-affected areas for three days (Jan 4-5 and 10) and met the victims, their families, community leaders and members of the local administration,” FDCA joint secretary Mohammad Salim Engineer told IANS.
“People in the affected villages know who the culprits were behind the riots. There were specific political parties that are working there to divide people on religious lines for their (own) gains,” he added.
Without naming any particular party, Engineer said parties indulging in “communal politics” must be defeated.
He further said the report was to be submitted to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde as well as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav but both of them refused to meet the FDCA representatives.
“Therefore, we decided to release the report to the media,” he said.
Communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas last year claimed 63 lives and rendered 40,000 people homeless. Hundreds are still living in relief camps for fear of being targeted again.