Communal riot: Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan talks to TCN from Bareilly

By Mumtaz Alam Falahi,,

New Delhi: Eminent cleric Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, in a telephonic talk with from Bareilly today, accused the then DM and DIG for the communal riots in the UP town on March 2 that continued about 10 days resulting in heavy losses of properties of Muslims. Khan, who was arrested for his alleged role in the violence but later given clean chit, said the top police officers were of communal mind and had connived with sitting BJP MLA for the riots.

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The riot broke out on March 2 during Eid Milad procession. The violence spread to entire town resulting in the large scale losses of properties. The town was under curfew for 15 days. Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan was arrested on March 8 but after an enquiry gave him a clean chit he was released by the court.

Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan

Why police arrested you in connection with communal violence in Bareilly?

The DM was communal minded. He wanted to burn the city in communal fire. DIG was also of this mind. Riots broke because of the irresponsible attitude and communal mindset of these officers. The issue was very small and violence started at a small scale. If they had acted responsibly it could have been controlled in hours. But they did not act promptly and the violence engulfed the entire town. The incident took place on March 2. I was arrested on March 8 even when there was no FIR, no complaint and no case against me.

My mistake was that when DGP and Home Secretary visited the violence-hit town I told them the truth about the violence, how it started and spread and who is responsible for it. This antagonized the DM and DIG. They had presented representatives of small organizations before the DGP and Home Secretary. As they were already tutored by the local police officers they did not utter a word against the DM and DIG. I was the only one who spoke truth about the biased role of the DM and DIG. I told these two gave full freedom to rioters. In fact they connived with the rioters. This antagonized them. Later they called me to office and arrested me. First they arrested me, then filed FIR and slapped different sections of IPC against me.

How did the violence start and what are the losses of properties?

It was a big riot. Huge losses of properties were caused. But thankfully, there was no casualty. Local people both Hindu and Muslim are peaceful and that’s why though communalists succeeded in spreading hatred that caused destruction of properties but there was no loss of human life.

In Muslim localities there was large scale destruction. PAC personnel entered Muslim houses and looted. After that there has been arrests at large scale.

Was there political involvement behind the violence?

Yes, it was a politically motivated violence. The DM and the sitting BJP MLA conspired for the riots. For the last 20-25 years BJP has ruled Bareilly as its MP would get elected from here. It was first time in the last Lok Sabha election in 2009 when the party candidate lost and I had played a big role in it. It was the first time that the Eid Milad procession was being taken out when there was a non-BJP MP, and that’s why they planned for the communal riots.

There is no case against me. After my arrest, an enquiry was set up and I was given clean chit. All charges against me fell flat. I had no role in violence. Rather I was actively working for peace and to check the violence. The DM implicated me just in hatred and revenge.

I demand that innocents arrested in connection with the violence are released immediately and the real culprits are brought to book.