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Uttar Pradesh becomes a communal tinderbox

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Lucknow: Communal flare-ups, curfews and prohibitory orders have become the order of the day in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.

In recent times, communal clashes have taken place in at least 10 districts across the sprawling state, triggering both social and political tensions. The situation has come to such a pass that Governor Ram Naik has publicly rapped the Samajwadi Party government.

“I have been talking to the chief minister on this issue in the past and again plan to take it up with him,” Naik told IANS. He said the situation “needed to be improved” and fast.

With the festivals of Navratri, Dussehra and Moharram coinciding, small flashpoints were expected by the police.

But what has taken the security and intelligence agencies by surprise is the scale and magnitude of the violence in 10 districts.

These include Kannauj, Kanpur, Banda, Balrampur, Ambedkarnagar, Gorakhpur, Siddharthanagar, Allahabad, Kushniagar as well as Pratapgarh.

Some of these places didn’t see violence even in the aftermath of the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya.

Pulkit Tandon, a chemist in Kannauj, says the developments “are very disturbing”.

Blaming the Akhilesh Yadav government, Tandon told IANS that both the government and the police seemed to be siding with “one community, so much so that the voice of the majority community is not being heard”.

Security forces conducted a flag march in Kannauj, famous for its ‘itra’ (perfumes), on Sunday. It is also the parliamentary constituency of Dimple Yadav, the chief minister’s wife.

Communal clashes erupted there last week after a major Durga procession was fired at Lakhan Chauraha, leaving one person dead and many others injured.

Policemen were attacked subsequently and vehicles were torched, leading to curfew.

In Balrampur, over the past few days, during a Tazia procession, stones were pelted at a religious place, leading to violence.

A procession was stopped by the administration in Pratapgarh, an elderly man was killed in clashes in Ambedkarnagar, two communities fought in Shohratgarh town in Allahabad, a youth was killed during a procession in Siddharthanagar, an idol was broken in Gorakhpur, two communities came face to face in Kasaya in Kushinagar, and people fought pitched battles with police in Turtipar Ghat in Ballia.

The Samajwadi Party government blames the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the turmoil. The latter says the government is levelling wild allegations to cover up its failures.

A retired Uttar Pradesh police chief blamed the force for failing to tackle the communal tensions and violence.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Swamy Prasad Maurya says the riots in Uttar Pradesh were a deep rooted conspiracy and the government was “a mute spectator”.

“The government has a lot to explain. Why has it not been able to control the riots?” the BSP leader asked while speaking to IANS.

Congress leader Nirmal Khatri too blames the government for the mess, and says it has failed to protect people and maintain law and order.

“What is more saddening is that even as communal violence is spreading, the administration seems to be trying to protect the mischief makers,” he said.

(Mohit Dubey, IANS)

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Little Known Facts About U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

Yogi Adityanath is the founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, which is a nationalist group of young people

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Adityanath Yogi is known for his aggression and excellent oratory skills.
Adityanath Yogi is known for his aggression and excellent oratory skills.

By Ruchika Verma

  • Yogi Adityanath is an Indian monk turned politician
  • He is currently the Chief Minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh
  • Adityanath Yogi is one of the most orthodox politicians in India

When Yogi Adityanath became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, he sent the whole country into a brawl. Adityanath Yogi, as many know him as, is the founder of the youth group, Hindu Yuva Vahini.

Yogi Adityanath is not only a renowned Indian monk but also Hindu nationalist politician who with his association with Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. He is known as the face of BJP in U.P.

Adityanath Yogi is the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. (IANS)
Adityanath Yogi is the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. (IANS)

Here are few little-known facts about Yogi Adityanath you may not have known before:

  • Yogi Adityanath was born on 5th June 1972. His real name is Ajay Singh which he changed after he became a monk.
  • Adiyanath Yogi is a very intelligent man. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from HNB Garhwal University, Uttarakhand.

Also Read: Yogi Adityanath: ‘Taj Mahal is Part of Indian Heritage’

  • Yogi Adityanath was the youngest legislator of Lok Sabha. He became a member of Lok Sabha in 1998 from Gorakhpur constituency. He was the MP from the same constituency for five times in a row.

    Yogi Adityanath is known for his orthodox Hindu ways. Wikimedia Commons
    Yogi Adityanath is known for his orthodox Hindu ways. Wikimedia Commons
  • Mahant Avaidyanath who was Adityanath’s predecessor was the president of Hindu Maha Sabha. They both have kept Hindutva as a forefront agenda during their election campaigns.
  • Adityanath Yogi is believed to be the leader of the ‘purification’ movement in 2005, during which Christians were converted to Hinduism. This step stunned the whole country.
  • Yogi Adityanath is a strong supporter of the “anti-Romeo squad.” These groups strike the couples in public, especially the unmarried ones. He says that these groups work towards restoring the pride of women.

    Adityanath Yogi is the face of BJP, UP. Twitter
    Adityanath Yogi is the face of BJP, UP. Twitter
  • Yogi Adityanath is the founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, which is a nationalist group of young Hindu individuals. Many of its group members are Dalit Hindu who are very touchy about Hindu culture and traditions.
  •  Adityanath Yogi was not always on good terms with BJP. In 2010, he was one of the several BJP members who opposed the Women’s Reservation Bill.

Also Read: Adityanath Yogi Keeps the Promises of BJP’s Election Manifesto

  • Yogi Adityanath’s criminal record is hardly a clean slate. He has several criminal cases against him, which include: charges related to rioting, attempt to murder, illegal possession of weapons, and charges against threatening and endangering other people’s  life.

    Adityanath Yogi is a monk turned politician. Twitter
    Adityanath Yogi is a monk turned politician. Twitter
  • Adityanath Yogi is known for his aggression and has been named as one of the main culprits of the Gorakhpur riots.