The state government describes the situation as normal despite the racial unrest occurring in Purola, Uttarakhand, where right-wing protestors are marching in opposition to the Muslim community. Soon after the kidnapping of a young girl on May 26 by two men, this incident made headlines. Those two men, Jitendra Saini and Zahid Malik, were detained shortly after the police investigation.
Former BSP MLA Shahzad stated, “The situation has gotten worse as it appears the BJP is deliberately targeting the community to foster hatred and violence. Criminals should be punished in accordance with the law, but the average person should not be harassed or singled out. The state government is not attempting to restore law and order, but it is possible if the central government so chooses.
“Some political entities are trying to politicize this issue as common people only want peace in the state, and intentionally targeting communities and creating violence should not be done in the state,” social activist Renu Singh said.
The phrase “Love Jihadis should vacate their shops and leave before the Mahapanchayat held on June 15” was written on numerous posters that were hung on the storefronts after this incident was widely branded as “Love Jihad.”
Although some right-wing organizations had called for a “Mahapanchayat” to address the “Love Jihad” issue, the panchayat was not held. Some people in Uttarakhand claimed that intentional communal violence had been started, despite the fact that only the offender should be held accountable for the crime. Communities are being targeted, and some activists claimed that the state’s citizens are being used as political pawns, which is contrary to their expectations of peace.
Sanjay Dobhal, an independent MLA, stated, “In my view, only those who committed the crime should be punished in accordance with the law, and everyone else should not be involved in the matter.”
Suresh Singh Chauhan, a BJP MLA, stated that “some people might be paid for this kind of activity to disrupt the law and order situation by some political people and create communal tensions between the communities of people in Purola as the police is working to maintain the law and order situation in the state.”
As the situation in the area has gotten worse, Congress MLA Furkan Ahmad stated, “We do not want any communal tensions, and we expect everyone to stay together peacefully.”