Telangana: BJP trying to polarise voters as elections approach state?

Hyderabad: With talk in political circles going around that elections in Telangana are likely to be advanced once again (like in 2018) by the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and its parent or affiliated groups are leaving no opportunity to target the state government or rake in communal trouble.

In what is seen as a planned attempt to target the government and term it pro-Muslim, members of such groups loosely affiliated to the BJP are allegedly spreading misinformation about any event and are also resorting to propaganda aimed at targeting the TRS government. Right-wing groups can be found targeting Muslims over any incident in which minority communities may be involved.

For instance, take the Saroornagar interfaith murder case where a man Nagaraju was killed by his own brother-in-law, who was a Muslim. Nagaraju had married a Muslim woman against the wishes of her family members and he was killed in retaliation. Soon after the murder, several BJP party leaders went to his widow’s house to extend condolences.

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What followed after was party sympathisers and alleged workers of the BJP and its sister organizations spreading misinformation about the incident. They also succeeded in reaching out to vernacular newspapers and channels to ensure that the incident was given a communal colour.

“It is not a hidden fact that several Hindutva organizations and BJP leaders have good contacts in media houses and managed to get their numbers added in the media Whatsapp group and spread misinformation,” said a former journalist who worked with different newspapers in foreign countries, who did not want to be named.

The enthusiasm for women’s safety is usually witnessed only in cases where either a community is involved because it apparently serves the political interests, the journalist from Hyderabad added.

Take the case of the Amnesia pub gang rape case at Jubilee Hills. It drew condemnation from all quarters including Muslim intellectuals, leadership, and religious leaders. In the ensuing developments, a BJP MLA also revealed the identity of the victim of sexual assault at a crowded press meet. He was later booked by the police.

Every aspect of the case was covered in a few vernacular dailies throwing the Supreme Court set guidelines to the winds. “The victim narrated the ordeal she went through on May 28 to the police and Bharosa centre counsellors by trusting the officials. How come someone got to know every minute detail and reveal it in public and to the press. It is shameful that for political mileage or scoring over the opponent the information is made public,” said a serving police official on condition of anonymity.

In the latest case, a BJYM leader (name intentionally not revealed) tried to make a petty issue at a bar and restaurant at Raidurgam into a communal incident, involving a Muslim man and Hindu man, who were injured when attacked by a boxer at the bar and restaurant.

In a series of tweets the leader who is a friend of an accused in the case tried to give a communal colour to the incident. The police investigation found that it was nothing but an attempt to mislead and pressurize the investigators.

In the last month, there have been around 20 POCSO cases registered in different police stations in the tri commissioners of Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda. “In only one case the Hindutva groups were hyperactive and targeting a particular community and its leaders while in the other cases they did not raise their voice,” noted the official.

What points towards a clear indication of right-wing groups and the BJP using crimes to serve their agenda are similar cases where the victim and accused are from the same community. Many such crimes just simply don’t come under anyone’s scanner.

In Hyderabad, under the Karkhana police station, Saidabad police station, Amberpet police station, Balapur police station and several other station limits, many such cases are reported regularly. However, in none of the cases, did Hindutva groups bother to meet the families or the police officials.

A senior BJP leader, who did not want to be quoted, said that the truth is that polarisation helps their party. So one can expect more and more issues to be communalised in the coming days

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