Allahabad: A Bharatiya Janata Party panel visited Kairana amidst protests on Wednesday to probe the truth behind the mass exodus of Hindu families from the town in Uttar Pradesh's Shamli district.
The nine-member team is tasked with submitting a report in this regard to BJP president Amit Shah.
During their visit, the BJP members had to face protests by locals, who shrugged off the whole issue as a political one.
However, the team insisted that the situation in Kairana was worse than what is being covered in media.
Talking to news agency ANI, a local resident said that Hindus and Muslims have been living in harmony in the area for years. “The issue is being raked up due to political reasons,” he added.
He further acknowledged that there was a law and order problem in the state, and demanded an action in this regard. However, the resident added that deteriorating law and order situation was not the primary reason for people to leave.
In the meantime, Baghpat MP Satyapal Singh, one of the nine BJP members who visited Kairana today, told ANI that the locals were not coming out and speaking openly. The former Mumbai Police commissioner added that as per their findings, the situation in Kairana was worse than what was being reported in media.
Meanwhile, first-time MP from Saharanpur, Raghav Lakhanpal, said that the team has observed that there has been a mass exodus of people from Kariana, principally due to 'gunda raj' in Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP team is conducting enquiries and the state government led by Samajwadi Party should also visit Kairana and investigate to know the ground reality, added Lakhanpal.
On Tuesday, BJP MP Hukum Singh, who had claimed mass exodus of Hindu families from Kairana, released another list of 63 persons who had fled from neighbouring Kandhala but stressed that it was not a communal issue but of law and order.
"We have raising this issue since long. These incidents started from 2013 and since then our party MLAs have been raising our voice against this in the assembly. You can go and check the Assembly record where we had raised this issue," Hukum Singh had said at a press conference, while releasing the second list.
The BJP leader, who earlier released a list of 346 people, however, told a news channel that the people fled due to "threats and extortion by criminal elements belonging to a particular community".
"By mistake someone in my team mentioned Hindu families. I asked them to change that. I stick to my stand that this is not a Hindu-Muslim issue. This is just a list of people who have left Kairana under duress," he said.
Singh had earlier said that Hindus were being forced to leave their homes in the Muslim-majority town in Uttar Pradesh.