The SP top brass, especially its chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, has been feeling particularly concerned over the Muslim community’s growing disaffection with the party, which was once seen as the minority community’s conscience-keeper in UP.
And the haste with which the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP Government in the state announced a CBI probe into the custodial death of suspected terrorist Khalid Mujahid, besides filing criminal cases against 12 policemen, including senior IPS officers, has been reflective of the party’s heightened anxieties on this front.
Although the CM had ordered a CBI investigation into the killing of DySP Zia-ul- Haq it was understandable since he had been killed in the line of duty.
However, the state government’s decision to order a CBI probe in a custodial death case, that too of a suspected ultra, was apparently prompted by vote bank politics. The unmistakable irony in this is that the administration has brought a brave police officer at par with a suspected terrorist.
Akhilesh has also been forced on to the backfoot over the May 18 death of Khalid in Barabanki under mysterious circumstances, since it had failed to act on the recommendations of the Nimesh Commission.
Headed by Justice(rtd) R D Nimesh, the commission had submitted its report to the government on August 31. However, nearly a year on, the report remains buried in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).
The Nimesh Commission had been formed in the wake of the widespread protests over the arrests of Khalid Mujahid of Jaunpur and Tariq Kazmi of Azamgarh in connection with the serial blasts at the District Collectorates in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad districts on November 23, 2007, which left nine persons dead.
But the commission found that the STF had concocted the story and recommended action against the guilty officials.
Despite the SP’s poll promise to free the ‘innocent Muslims’, languishing in the state jails after being implicated in terrorism-related cases, the govt has done precious little in this regard. SP insiders told Express that the party leadership was wary of the “Modi march in UP“, which would in all probability polarise the Muslims in favour of the Congress.