The murder of a 17-year-old Jat boy in Bijnor district village may polarise seven Assembly Constituencies in the district, and the larger which is scheduled to vote in the second phase of Uttar Pradesh elections on February 15. Among the masses, the murder is being seen as an act of revenge for earlier incident of alleged killing of three Muslims in September on allegations of eve-teasing a girl. Most of the accused in Friday’s incident are relatives of those Muslims killed, also eyewitnesses in that case, The Indian Expres reported on Sunday.
The incident comes as another chapter in region’s Jat-Muslim conflict. Just like other communal incidents, this one is also sparked by alleged harassment of girls by either Jat or Muslim boys. While BJP has fielded Suchi Chowdhary, wife of one of the accused in the September killing of Muslims, the BSP has fielded a Muslim, Rashid Ahmad.
As voting in the neighbouring districts of Meerut and Muzaffarnagar commenced on Saturday, some of the followers of BSP gathered for Mayawati’s rally at a ground in the town. Suchi, along with the Jat protesters, tried to block one of the main intersections. The RLD’s Bijnor candidate Rahul Singh also joined the agitation.
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A daily-needs shop owner, near the rally ground told The Indian Express that entire political calculation in the area has shifted because of the murder. The shop owner says that incumbent MLA Ruchi Vira of the Samajwadi Party, “who has done a lot of work in the constituency,” could have won. “But not anymore.”
BSP Dhampur candidate Muhammad Ghazi, in a speech alleged that those murdered Vishal were members of the BJP. “Aur naam diya gaya humaare logon ka, ki katl humne kiya hai (And our people were blamed, it was said we had committed the murder),” Ghazi said.
In her recent rally, BSP supremo Mayawati had promised that she would not only send to jail the perpetrators of both the crimes, of February 10 and September 16, but also ensure that the “shadyantrakaari” or the masterminds are not spared.