MUMBAI : Mr Suresh Khopde was an IPS officer who was appointed as DCP in-charge of Bhiwandi city after communal riots which broke out in the power loom town in 1984. He conducted a scientific study of Bhiwandi ‘s communal riots.
His research into the reasons and causes of communal problem is revealing and valuable. Some hard facts about communal riots unveiled by his research and study are as following :
According to Mr. Suresh Khopde, history, animosity, prejudices and memories of previous riots lead to constant tension.
If communal tension were not allowed to build up, stray incidents would not result into a riot, even in a sensitive town like Bhiwandi.
According to the study conducted by Mr. Suresh Khopde into the Bhiwandi riots 1984, economic profile of the rioters revealed that 63 % of them were from below poverty line. Also, over whelming majority of them (almost 96.2 %) did not have any previous criminal record.
Large numbers of victims were from poor sections of the society. According to the study, 95% of those killed in the Bhiwandi riots belonged to the below poverty line section of the society.
At least 66 people were killed in that riot. The study into the motive of killing those people also revealed that 84 % of those victims were killed only because they belonged to a rival religion or community.
The study also analyzed why ordinarily peaceful and law abiding citizens become criminals and they indulge in killing innocent people, rioting, looting & damaging their properties.
Mr.Suresh Khopde says that for gaining power, political parties indulge into appeasement of people. They do not stress upon development, planning or progress.
Neither they have any development plan, nor do they have the ability to implement it. Hence, these political parties play narrow political games.
They attract voters using caste, creed, and religion. These are the weapon that fetches those votes. The study noted that rallying around religion always attracted people towards politicians and political parties.
The study also deplored misuse of social causes, when it said, in some instances communal leaders also take up right social causes, but project them in perverse manner.
Mr. Suresh Khopde devised a Mohalla Committee Scheme to contain communal tension and prevent communal riots which has been implemented since then, not only in Bhiwandi, but all over Maharashtra.