Muslim League, not BJP-RSS, behind 1980 Moradabad riots: 40-year-old report


Lucknow: A judicial commission report on the 1980 Moradabad riots which was presented after 40 years in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday has given a clean chit to the BJP and RSS.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna tabled the 496-page report in the state assembly in the presence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and gave reasons for the delay. In May, the state cabinet had decided to table the Justice M P Saxena Commission’s report in the assembly. 

The report has held a Muslim League leader and his supporters responsible for the 1980 riots in which 83 people were killed and several others injured. Saxena, a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court, had submitted his report in November 1983.

The report has justified police action saying that they fired in self-defence. It names a Muslim League leader and some of his supporters as responsible for the riots.

The report stated that neither any secret meetings were held by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or any other Hindu outfit nor Harijans (Dalits) were incited to take revenge on the Muslims. In fact, the RSS and the Bharatiya Janata Party had no hand whatsoever in this, it said.

After careful analysis of the facts, it is clear that in each and every incident, Dr Shamim Ahmed Khan (Muslim League leader) and his supporters played a major role and they were ready to fight with the police and administration to fulfil their political ambitions, the report said.

The commission has also made it clear in the report that the supporters of Khan included members of the Muslim League and some other people.

However, the commission has clarified that not all Muslims had a hand in organizing the riots.

  The report said that on the day of Eid, police officers took utmost care and fired at the Eidgah only when there was a threat to the lives of the people living there. The bullet was fired only in self-defence. Despite this, the rioters spread excitement, it said.

Most of the deaths in Idkhana, Bhura Chauraha and Barfkhana (localities) were due to the stampede, for which police officials cannot be held responsible, it said.

A dispute during Eid prayers at Moradabad Eidgah had taken the form of communal riots.

In its report, the commission has also suggested measures to control the riots and said that when there is a riot, correct facts should be informed through loudspeakers dispelling the rumours.

When the 1980 riots took place, there was a Congress government in UP under the leadership of Chief Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh. At the time, Indira Gandhi was the prime minister.

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