Governor Kamla Beniwal has called for a report from the Gujarat government about the appearance of some controversial hoardings in various cities, allegedly aimed at fanning communal sentiments.
The report has been sought in the wake of the communal disturbances witnessed during the last few days in the walled city areas in Ahmedabad, in which one person was killed and about 30 others were injured in stone throwing, stabbing and arson.
The Governor is believed to have sent a letter to both the Home Ministry and the Director-General of Police, asking for a report at the earliest.
The hoardings first appeared in Vadodara and later showed up in other cities, asking people to question why the Congress was “supporting a terrorist like Sohrabuddin” while “throwing the State police officials into jail.” The unsigned statements accused the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre of “misusing” the CBI to harass the Gujarat police and “defame the people of the State.”
The hoardings and wall writings came up soon after the CBI arrested Deputy Police Commissioner (Crime branch) Abhay Chudasma in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. Though the CBI has since not made any other arrest, BJP leaders including national vice-president Purshottam Rupala, State unit president C. K. Faldu and State general secretary Vijay Rupani, cried foul, over the alleged CBI role in “harassing” and “demoralising” the Gujarat police with a view to “leaving the people of the State at the mercy of the terrorists.”
Following the recent communal clashes, a Congress delegation, led by PCC president Siddhartha Patel and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil, called on the Governor and submitted a memorandum holding the ruling party responsible for the disturbances. Citing the fictitious hoardings, the memorandum said BJP leaders were making a clear attempt to whip up communal passions among the people apparently to strengthen their party's vote bank in elections to the Municipal Corporation in Ahmedabad and other major cities due later this year.
Meanwhile, the police search operation continued at Shahpur and in other areas of the walled city on Saturday. The police said the situation in all riot-affected areas was “tense but completely peaceful.”