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After Atiq Ahmed’s murder, Hindus and Muslims speak with one voice–end Mafia Raj in UP and prosper

UP CM Yogi Adityanath

The killings of gangster turned politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf have hit headlines the world over. The killings undoubtedly need thorough investigations. The Uttar Pradesh police have launched a probe.

Largely the people of Uttar Pradesh – irrespective of religion — want criminals to be “eliminated” and law and order situation enhanced. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that his government will not tolerate any criminal activity in the state.

Even as the killings of the Ahmed brothers are increasingly gaining a communal colour, people of the state are unanimous in voicing their opinion– UP’s law and order situation must not be allowed to slip. UP is now aggressively trying to change its positioning — from being a backward state, it now aims to become a $1 trillion economy with a sharp focus on infrastructure upgradation — both physical and social.

With the launch of the UP Industrial Investment & Employment Promotion Policy 2022, the state is seeking foreign investments of Rs 10 trillion — $120 billion.

Last month, Adityanath approved infrastructure proposals worth Rs 465 crore.

UP’s communal riots

UP has been notorious for its state of lawlessness for decades. People of the state were used to communal riots.

In 2013, just after the damaging communal riot that broke out between Hindus and Muslims has been described by many as one of the worst that the state witnessed. Following the incident, which left 62 people dead, a one man judicial commission– handled by Justice Vishnu Sahai was given charge of the probe, which finally in its 700 page report said that the riot was caused due to intelligence failure and some slackness on the part of police. Unsurprisingly, the report remained silent on the role of the then Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and his government.

In an article, the Times of India in 2013 said that UP recorded 39 deaths in 2012. “It recorded 117 incidents of communal violence, in which 20 Hindus and 19 Muslims were killed. Among the injured, 266 were Hindus, 197 Muslims and 25 police officials,” the report read.  Overall 640 incidents of communal violence were recorded in India in 2012. As many as 93 people were dead—48 from the Muslim community, 44 from the Hindu community and one police official, the report added.

The Allahabad High Court too asked former Yadav to furnish details of all communal riots that hit the state since he took charge in 2012.

Adityanath was quick to point out that between 2017 and 2023 “not a single riot broke out in UP.” And “no curfew was imposed.” “That situation did not arise. And this is the most conducive opportunity to invest and set up industries,” he said.

Ratings agency CareEdge’s report on states this year ranked Uttar Pradesh at number three in the governance category. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were at number one and number two positions respectively. While the state lacks in many other parameters, law and order and good governance will be key to boost its economy.

In last year’s state elections, Adityanath made an impressive comeback winning 255 seats out of a total of 403. “This was possible because of Muslim votes as well and why did many Muslims vote for the BJP? It is because of the law and order situation. They can send their girls to schools without fear, this was not the case earlier,” a political analyst told India Narrative. “The benefits of the social welfare schemes reached the targeted households, whether Hindus or Muslims or any other communities,” he added.

In today’s UP people –irrespective of their religion – have one ambition—economic wellbeing. And they know that economic growth and well being will be possible only through good governance.

A list of encounters by the Adityanath government underscores one key point. No one with any criminal baggage will be spared—religion does not matter. Take the case of Vikas Dubey. In 2020, the notorious gangster was killed after a police truck, in which Dubey was being transported, overturned and he tried to escape. Similarly, Vinod Kumar who was carrying a bounty of Rs 1 lakh on his head was killed in an exchange of fire between him and the police. The list is long and has names of criminals of both communities.

“For investments to flow in and the economy to flourish, you need law and order situation to improve, and by and large people of the state are happy with the governance,” a senior executive currently posted in Prayagraj– earlier Allahabad, said.

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