PURNIMA S. TRIPATHI
Frontline, Volume 20 – Issue 20, September 27 – October 10, 2003
Uttaranchal’s preoccupation with the October 1994 police firing on pro-statehood activists stands in the way of the State moving ahead and tackling real issues facing it.
ON October 2, 1994, activists who were on their way to Delhi to attend a rally to press for the creation of a separate Uttarakhand State were fired upon by the Uttar Pradesh Police. Ever since, the incident is put to use on its anniversary by politicians, particularly those of Uttaranchal, the State formed with almost the same areas as were sought to constitute Uttarakhand.
The ritual has got added impetus this year with the Uttaranchal High Court quashing on July 22 the charge of culpable homicide, among others, against Anant Kumar Singh, who was the District Magistrate of Muzaffarnagar at the time of the firing. The facts of the case, which have been meticulously recorded by the High Court in its order, indicate that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress(I) have their share of responsibility for the turn of events. [more]