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SP plans to drop cases against Varun, angers its own Muslim leaders

Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow, Nov 16, 2012, DHNS : 2:27 IST

Partys image will take a beating, BSP will gain if BJP MP is let off

The reported move of their own government to withdraw criminal cases against the firebrand Bharatiya Janata Party Lok Sabha member from Pilibhit Varun Gandhi has not gone down well with Muslim leadersin Samajwadi Party.

They feel that it will put them in an embarrassing situation within the community.
A senior Muslim leader said while the party’s image in the community could take a severe beating because of the decision, that of the BSP supremo Mayawati, during whose regime cases had been slapped against Varun Gandhi, could receive a boost.

The Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari has already publicly criticised the government’s decision.

Unkept promises

Samajwadi Party leaders complain that the government has not yet fulfilled its promise.

It has not withdrawn cases against innocent Muslims who are branded as terrorists and are still languishing in jails.

“While innocent Muslims youths continue to be in the jails, the government has shown remarkable hurry in deciding to withdraw cases against Varun,” said senior Muslim leader in the party.

Varun Gandhi had been charged with creating enmity between people on religious ground, committing malicious acts to cause outrage by insulting religion and attempt
to murder in the previous Mayawati government during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

He had allegedly delivered inflammatory speeches during campaigning in Pilibhit constituency and the then regime had even slapped the National Security Act on him.
The Muslim community has already criticised the government for recurring communal violence in the state.

‘Unsafe’

A senior SP Muslim leader from Maharashtra had also remarked recently that the Muslims were ‘not safe’ in Uttar Pradesh under the Samajwadi Party regime.

The Forum for the release of innocent Muslims imprisoned in the name of terrorists has also lashed out at the government for its failure to check communal clashes.

It has also accused the government of patronising fundamentalist elements in Hindu society.

The seven-month stint of Akhilesh Yadav has so far witnessed as many as nine incidents of communal violence across the state claiming 10 lives and destruction of properties worth several crore.

Muslims, who constitute around 20 per cent of the state’s electorate, play a decisive role in around 25 Lok Sabha seats.

Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav hopes to corner a big chunk of Muslim votes in the 2014 polls.

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