On August 8, the Uttar Pradesh government-led by Yogi Adityanath tabled an inquiry report into the 1980 Moradabad riots that killed at least 83 people and left 112 others injured. The Allahabad High Court Judge MP Saxena headed a one-member panel that produced a 496-page report on the riots in May 1983. The report delved into the riots’ underlying causes and the cascading effects that led to them.
Numerous Muslims, Hindus, and police officials who were there during the disturbances are also quoted in the report. The written testimonies of up to six Hindus who were present during the riots are mentioned in detail in the study, and interestingly, each statement clearly indicates that the massacre was planned in advance.
In his written testimony, Santosh Saran, one of the eyewitnesses to the 1980 Moradabad Riots, asserted that the violence was an obvious consequence of the vote bank and Muslim appeasement politics the then Congress government, both in the state and the centre, had been practising.
He revealed that prior to August 13, 1980, when the riots broke out in Moradabad, as many as 30,000 illegal Bangladeshi migrants, especially those who had infiltrated Bihar, were brought and settled in various Muslim-dominated villages in Moradabad. He said that the prime objective behind this was an attempt to alter the demography of Uttar Pradesh. Due to the subsequent dominance of the Muslim population, communal violence became very common in Moradabad.
Saran added that at the time India got Independence in 1947, Moradabad comprised 52 per cent Muslim population and 48 per cent were Hindus. However, after partition, several Muslims migrated to Pakistan and the demography of Moradabad changed. It had now become a Hindu-dominated region with almost 52 per cent populace being Hindus.
The eyewitness further said that gradually, under the Congress regime, there was a constant influx of these illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Moradabad, which once again changed the demography of the region. These illegal migrants were tasked with instigating the local Muslims against Hindus so that the rift between both communities continues to broaden and they did exactly that, yet the Congress government at the state level as well as the centre took no action against these illegal migrants.
Due to the subsequent dominance of illegal Muslim migrants, communal violence became very common in Moradabad.
Notably, in our previous report we wrote about how Dayanand Gupta, one of the eyewitnesses, testified that during the violence that began on August 13, 1980, at the Eidgah in Moradabad, the Muslim mob launched an unprovoked attack on the police officials and the members of the Valmiki Dalit community.
Prior to this, our article on Justice Saxena’s Moradabad Riots judicial commission report detailed how it had absolved the RSS, BJP, and Hindus of any wrongdoing and entirely blamed the violence on the communal politics pursued by some Muslim political figures, particularly those associated with the Muslim League and Congress party, which was in power at both the state and national levels at the time of the riots.
The report established that the communal frenzy was a result of a conspiracy hatched by Muslim League and Congress leaders. Refuting the entire ‘pig entering the Eidgah in Moradabad during the Eid namaz’ angle, the report stated that a group of criminals supported by Muslim League leaders were responsible for the massacre.
Notably, Justice Saxena’s 496-page report on the 1980 Moradabad was submitted in May 1983, however, for so many years the report kept getting repositioned from one government department to the other. In the last 4 decades, the file has reportedly been suppressed at least 14 times on one pretext or the other. No subsequent governments released its content.
After Yogi Adityanath came to power in the state, his government decided to open the 43-year-old case. In May this year, the state cabinet decided to table the Justice M P Saxena Commission’s report in the assembly. On Tuesday, August 8, the Uttar Pradesh government tabled the inquiry report into the 1980 Moradabad riots in the UP Assembly.