INDORE: A delegation comprising prominent social activists visited the region in western Madhya Pradesh that recently saw violence after the right-wing groups took out rallies to collect fund for construction of Ram Temple.
The delegation members visited Chandankhedi and met families who suffered during the violence. Apart from injuries to people, houses were attacked, property damaged and vandalism taken place at the mosque.
Medha Patkar and Advocate Ehtesham Hashmi met local residents belonging to both the communities and sought information from the victims.
‘Such attack can’t take place without planning. Many people had to escape in order to save their lives and such is the situation that several victims don’t even have the courage to lodge complaints”, said Patkar while speaking to media persons, later.
She said that a panel of retired judges must conduct probe into the violence in Ujjain, Mandsaur and Indore in Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. “Many victims had their houses demolished while on the other hand few attackers were arrested and some of them immediately got bail”.
“If someone went up to the minaret of the msoque, it clearly shows that this was a planned incident and the aim was to disrupt social harmony”, she further said.
“I spoke to women and they revealed a lot. There is fear among people. Police tell us that probe is on to ascertain who was responsible for the firing incident. I must say that a fair inquiry is needed”.
Also, she said that communal harmony is needed. “We are all committed to spread the idea of non-violence and it’s tragic to find how there were armed people, carrying swords and even firearms who were involved in the attack”, she added.
Advocate Ehtesham Hashmi said that the delegation met affected people and saw the extent of damage. “We will file petition in the High Court in this regard and seek a probe”. Hashmi said that memorandum would be given to top authorities.
“The victims, whose houses were damaged, must be given compensation. We want tough action against those involved in the violence. Also, an independent commission should be constituted”, he further said.
Local residents said that the videos of vandalism and incident at mosque were also shot by those who were part of mob and had come from outside. Rambabu Agarwal, activist, who was also part of the fact-finding team, said that it should be investigated why Chandankhedi was targeted.
The delegation members told journalists that after interaction with the victims, they felt that the violence had been engineered with political motives and an inquiry was absolutely necessary.
The victims’ grouseis that despite curbs on gatherings, hundreds of people were allowed to take out rallies that reached Muslim localities and even induldged in ruckus, raising inflammatory slogans and vandalism.
The locals said that despite prior information, they were not stopped. Rather, those in the rallies indulged in vandalism even though police were present on the spot.
The incidents had occurred during rallies taken out for fund collection for the Ram Temple. Videos went viral and one of them had youths boasting about the property they had damaged.
Earlier, hundreds of motorcycle-borne men carrying Saffron flags, while raising slogans had reached Dorana in Mandsaur on December 29. A Saffron flag was hoisted at a mosque.
Similar incident had occurred in Begambagh in Ujjain too, where a house was demolished as it was claimed that there was stone pelting on the rally, from this house. The third incident took place in Chandankhedi in Indore. The officials insist that action is being taken and those responsible for the violence have been booked and arrested.