Pre-planned attack in Dungarpur, alleges report

Special Correspondent

Role of Rajasthan Home Minister in communal flare-up questioned

“13 establishments including shops, godowns, houses vehicles damaged in the violence”

“Our investigations revealed the complicity of lower level police functionaries in the rioting”

JAIPUR: A delegation that visited the Adivasi-dominated Dungarpur town in south Rajasthan to investigate the recent communal clashes in the area has termed the developments as a “pre-mediated operation” to polarise the votes on communal lines prior to the coming State Assembly elections.

The delegation questioned the role of State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, who visited the town soon after the incidents.

“It was a pre-planned attack on the Muslim community in order to damage their business and also to create a sense of insecurity among them,” said Sawai Singh, president of the Sadbhavana Manch, who led the delegation along with Engineer Mohammed Saleem of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.

“The Administration remained a mute witness as armed men belonging to Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party took over. The visit of Mr. Kataria further emboldened the rioters,” he charged.

The delegation comprised former judge and president of the Bodh Mahasabha, Tek Chand Rahul, K. Anand of the Samata Sainik Dal and Mohammed Nazimuddhin and Abdul Aziz of the Rajasthan Muslim Forum.

They said 13 establishments including shops and three big godowns, four houses and five vehicles belonging to the minorities were damaged in the violence.

“The violence was not accidental. There was a design to it,” Mr. Rahul charged. “Apart from the absence of any coordination between the police and the Administration after the outbreak of violence our investigations revealed the complicity of lower level police functionaries in the town in the rioting,” he added.

Rs.2 crore loss

“There was a crowd of 300 men damaging property and setting fire to shops in the main market of Dungarpur. A contingent of 100 policemen followed them but did nothing,” he said.

The incidents of arson and looting, which had taken place in the town from September 27 to October 3, had led to a loss of at least Rs.2 crore to the community, Mr. Saleem said. “The Muslim establishments were singled out for attack and arson. It appeared as if the shops were marked in advance and targeted,” he said.

Giving a specific instance, he noted that expensive equipment and furniture in a dental clinic run by a Muslim doctor were taken out on the road and destroyed as the building belonged to a Hindu.

“The other places in south Rajasthan such as Rajsamand, Pratapgarh and Banswara have seen such attacks against the minorities in the recent past. Obviously the attempt is to create a Gujarat-like situation in Rajasthan prior to the elections,” Mr. Saleem asserted.

The Sadbhavana Manch, which has demanded dismissal of Home Minister Kataria, is now planning to approach the Rajasthan Governor, the National Human Rights Commission and the Minorities Commission.

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