Bhopal: Located about 150 km apart, two mosques and the adjoining homes of Muslim families were vandalised on Tuesday (December 29) afternoon as rallies of right wing groups, organised with the aim of collecting funds for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, swept through Mandsaur and Indore districts of Madhya Pradesh.
The latest report comes four days after the first clash was reported in Ujjain, about 70kms from Indore where rallies carried out by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, passed through Muslim-dominated Begum Bagh, allegedly shouting slogans and abuses at the local residents that resulted in stone pelting.
In response to rallies called by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), in a nationwide drive to collect funds for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, thousands of right-wing workers had turned up in Ujjain, Mandsaur and Indore districts with saffron flags and swords. These right wing rallies stopped before mosques chanting provocative slogans leading to severe clashes between the two communities.
Ujjain, Indore and Mandsaur where the spell of communal clashes have erupted falls under the Malwa region, a stronghold of the RSS.
After the first clash in Ujjain, the following day, on December 26, district collectors ordered the demolition of a two-storey building of Abdul Rasheed, a resident of Begum Bagh, claiming that his family was caught on video hurling stones at the workers.
The demolition drive of Rasheed’s house was aimed at breaking the miscreants such as Rasheed economically, claimed Ujjain Collector Ashish Singh. However, the stones were reportedly pelted from the adjacent building of Mira Bai. Her tenant Heena was booked by the cops but instead of Mira’s house, the collector demolished Rasheed’s house.
A day after the demolition of Rasheed’s house in Ujjain, Home Minister Narottam Mishra while addressing reporters in Bhopal remarked, “Patthar jaha se aayege wahi se to nikale jaye ge (Those who engage in stone pelting will be evicted).”
Even as before the dust could settle down on the Ujjain clash, a similar clash broke out in Indore’s Chandan Khedi where in a similar rally carried out by right wing groups, there were attempts to vandalise the village mosque resulting in stone pelting on both sides. The next day citing a road widening drive, the district administration partially demolished 15 homes while the police arrested at least 27 residents of the villages, as per reports.
The police have reportedly arrested five persons and registered an offence against 58 others based on complaints by the villagers; another 30 in Indore, of which at least 27 are villagers; in Begum Bagh locality of Ujjain, 18 have been arrested with charges under National Security Act invoked on 10.
However, an independent investigation by NewsClick has revealed that dozens of the locals and eyewitnesses of all three incidents agree that everything happened under the supervision of police and specifically, in Indore, police supported the mob.
DETAILS OF INCIDENTS: MOSQUE VANDALISED, MUSLIM HOMES SET ON FIRE
In Chandan Khedi village of Indore, the mob set the house of a Muslim family on fire after vandalising the minaret of Eidgah situated on the outskirts of village. However, the police claimed that the clash broke out after a few villagers objected the filming of videos of their houses,
“Soon after the objection, the violence broke out and stone pelting started from both sides. It created a mayhem in the village and the mob disappeared,” Harinarayana Chari Mishra, DIG Indore was reported as saying. He added, “Meanwhile, the mob rushed towards the Eidgah and vandalised the minaret before police intervened.”
This story first appeared on newsclick.in