November 27, 2022

kairana: Going door-to-door in Kairana, Amit Shah meets families that had ‘left’ | India News – Times of India

MEERUT: Home minister Amit Shah met several families who were “affected” by the alleged exodus from Kairana some years ago during a door-to-door poll campaign in the city on Saturday. One of them, Lokesh Khatik, 53, who has been running a small tea stall at Khurgan road for the past three decades, told TOI that he had indeed left Kairana after his son started consuming drugs and racked up large bills running into lakhs. He said that he feared for his son’s life and therefore moved to Panipat in 2013. He added that he returned in 2018. “But I feel anguished when I see the people who forced my son to consume drugs roam freely. Nothing has happened to them,” he said.
Varun Singhal’s family was also one of the few who the home minister met. Varun’s elder brother Vinod Singhal was allegedly shot dead by extortionists in August 2014 while the latter was sitting outside a grocery store. Varun said he migrated from the city soon after his brother’s alleged murder but “came back in 2015”, two years before the Yogi-led BJP state government took charge. “Almost all top politicians visited our home after my brother’s murder. Everyone told me that my sister-in-law, who is a single parent to three children, will get financial help. Even Yogi ji came to my house during his visit to Kairana and assured us of financial help. However, nothing has happened so far,” Varun claimed. Shah then met the family of Rajkumar Singhal, who owns an electrical shop in Kairana. Rajkumar told TOI that he never migrated but was “only planning” to do so.
“In 2013, I was attacked with swords by unidentified miscreants. I was hurt but managed to escape. In 2016, some miscreants came to my shop and asked for money. This is when I decided to shift from Kairana. I even bought a house in Shamli but before I could move the BJP government came to power and everyone told me I should stay back. So I did,” the 64-year-old said.
One of the families whose picture with Shah is making rounds on social media is that of Rakesh Garg, the owner of the ‘Sadu Sweets’ shop. Garg migrated from Kairana after someone tried to extort Rs 20 lakh from him in 2014. He said he returned after 2017 “once the situation changed.”
In June 2016, BJP MP from Kairana Hukum Singh alleged that around 250 Hindu families had migrated from the town, leaving behind their properties, out of the “fear of criminals who enjoyed political patronage.” The issue became a major controversy after BJP accused the ruling Samajwadi Party of pursuing “minority appeasement” policies.

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