“मार्च में मेरे शासनकाल के दो वर्ष पूरे होंगे। मेरे अब तक के शासन में, कोई दंगा नहीं हुआ है। (In March, two years of my term will be completed. In my tenure so far, there have been no riots -translated)” tweeted Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Jan 3, 2019. He claimed that during his tenure, there have been no riots.
मार्च में मेरे शासनकाल के दो वर्ष पूरे होंगे। मेरे अब तक के शासन में, कोई दंगा नहीं हुआ है।
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) January 3, 2019
The same claim was also echoed by Adityanath in a recent interview to Firstpost.
Home Ministry’s report
While Adityanath claims that there have been no riots during his tenure, the Home Ministry’s report suggests otherwise. According to a reply given by Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs in Lok Sabha on February 6, 2018, there were 822 incidents of communal violence in India in 2017 out of which 195 had occurred only in Uttar Pradesh. In a total of 195 incidents of communal violence, 44 people died and 542 people were injured.
Three major incidents in Adityanath’s tenure
Apart from Home Ministry’s report, there were at least three major incidents of violence that had occurred in Uttar Pradesh and were reported by a main-stream media organization and termed as ‘riots’.
In the month of May 2017, caste clashes between the Thakur and Dalit communities took place in Shabbirpur village. An article published by Hindustan Times on May 5 stated, “Later, on May 5, a Dalit group objected to a procession of Thakurs to mark the birth anniversary of Rajput king Maharana Pratap, triggering violence, in which one person was killed and over 15 injured.”
A communal clash erupted on January 26, 2018 in Kasaganj city and later, curfew was imposed. In the clash, at least one person was reportedly killed and three injured. According to eyewitness’ statement to The Hindu, a group of youths took out a Republic Day rally in the Kotwali area of Kasganj during which a clash broke out between two communities, leading to firing and stone pelting. The group of bikers had raised slogans targeting the community in the area, which led to further provocation and firing.
In early December last year, BulandShahr witnessed widespread violence and protest over alleged cow slaughter. Two people were killed during the mob violence, including a cop named Subodh Kumar Singh who was shot dead. On December 27, India Today reported, “A mob of around 400 people, including right-wing activists, violently rampaged through the Chingrawathi village, apparently after cow carcasses were found strewn in a jungle nearby. They set fire to dozens of vehicles, hurled stones and also fired guns at police who retaliated with gunfire.”
The claim by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath that no riots have taken place during his tenure is therefore false and misleading.