70 Muslim homes looted, burned in Udaipur, police watched on

By TCN News,

Jaipur: In a planned attack on Muslim families in Udaipur following murder of a person from the Meena community, at least 70 homes of Muslims were looted and then put on fire in the very presence of Police and civil administration of the district.

Support TwoCircles

The incident took place in the last week of this past July leaving at least 500 Muslim families homeless in about half a dozen villages of Udaipur district in Rajasthan that is presently ruled by Congress.

According to a fact-finding report of Rajasthan chapter of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Shezad Khan and two of his associates murdered Mohan Meena, a wine dealer, during a fight when all were in inebriated condition, on 2nd July in Sarada village of Uaidpur. Even though the attackers were arrested and sent to jail, the local adivasi community, allegedly at the instigation of Sangh Parivar groups, hatched a conspiracy to loot and destroy the properties of the Muslim co-villagers.

[Photo by: holidayiq.com]

From July 3-5, members from the Adivasi society set afire the shops of innocent Muslim families. On 18th July, Amrut Lal Meena, resident of Boripal (BJP), Kalulal Meena, Sarpanch, Gram Panchyat, Chavan, Vagat Ram Meena, Zilla Parishad Member and other Adivasi/tribal leaders declared their major goal/objective was the destruction of Muslim families, says the PUCL report.

This was even after a peace meeting held by the district administration on 14th July. The SDM and DSP held the meeting with both sides. The representatives of the Meena Society and Muslim Society both met and had discussions. “The so-called leaders of the Adivasi Society who were mainly Bajrang Dal and members of the Hindutva groups stated that the goal/objective (destruction of Muslim families) would be rescinded only if all the 3 accused in the murder of Mohan Meena should be ostracized from the society. This had be notified and published in the newspapers,” says the fact-finding report.

On the very day of the peace meeting, the Muslim society members gave in to the demand and ostracized the three accused. This was notified to the Tehslidar, Sarada and the same was published in Dainik Bhaskar. But the so-called leaders of the Adivasis society went back on their word and on 18th July went all around distributing pamphlets on the continuation of their war on Muslim families and asked Adivasi community to gather at one place on 25th July. They also asked them to come with weapons.

“PUCL got enough evidence that between 18/07/2010 – 24/07/2010, weapons were distributed to all the Adivasis in the area by different associations. On night of 24/07/2010, in the villages of Pal Sarada, Pal Saipur etc, Dhanraj Meena, Retired teacher, Kalu Shankar Meena, assistant secretary to the panchayat, Uday Lal Meena, Teacher, Durga Prasad Meen, Lalu Ram Meena, Ex. Member Panchyat Samiti and other Adivasis called for a meeting where weapons were distributed and they were instigating an attack on Muslim colony,” says the report.

On the very night of 24th July the Muslim society members became aware of the meeting, hence they informed all the higher officials and the local leaders. They also prayed for the increase of security forces but in vain.

On 25th July, the Adivasi members got together for the attack. A meeting was conducted till 4 pm in Sarada. After the meeting, they attacked, looted and lit the shop of carpenter Shaukat Ali. After this the mob attacked the house of Ahmad Hussain, Rtd principal and injured by pelting stones. To protect the family and to disperse the mob, shots were fired in the air by the police. But the attack continued. The Adivasi community attacked the Muslim colonies. The Police fearing for their safety brought the Muslim families to the police station. In their absence, the homes were looted and about 70 houses were set afire. The attacks continued in the presence of District Collector and the Superintendent of Police of the District and other senior officials. The rioters continued the burning and looting of the Muslim and the authorities watched in silence, says the report.

On the night of the 26th July, the district authorities instead of stopping the violence, apprehending further violence by the adivasis moved the Muslim families out of the area first into the police station and later brought them to Udaipur. The Muslim Samaj committee provided shelter to the aggrieved persons at the Dargahs and other religious places. The Muslim community made arrangements for food and other necessities and the authorities did not take any action in this regard. The Government did nothing. The Adivasi rioters drew 500 Muslim families out of their villages (Chavan, Kejar, Salada, Mahuwara, Veeropoora (Jayasamanth), Sonaria etc) and who have all moved to the Muslim religious places.

Talking to TwoCircles.net from Udaipur today regarding the present situation there, Advocate Ramesh Nandwana, Vice President of Rajasthan PUCL who led the fact-finding team, said the situation is returning to normalcy. Some families have returned but they have no shelter to live under as their homes have been destroyed.

Nandwana has contacted district administration that has promised full security to the affected people. However, the Congress-ruled state government has not announced any compensation so far, adds Nandwana.
Asked if the Muslim attackers of Mohan Meena were arrested in time, Nandwana said: Yes, they were arrested, yet the Adivasi community decided to carry attacks on Muslim houses. He also informed that 40-50 rioters have also been arrested and sent to jail.

This was the second such communal attack in the same Udaipur villages since 2005. Many of the Muslim families who had been displaced in 2005 had just returned but had to flee again. The PUCL, therefore, has demanded a judicial enquiry into the incident.

The civil rights group has also demanded immediate relief to the affected families. Their homes should be reconstructed and measures should be taken for their security, the group said. “They should be compensated a minimum of Rs. 100,000 for the loss of property. We demand that the so-called leaders of the adivasis samaj who incited violence be booked and stringent action be taken against the district police and administrators who were bystanders to the attack,” PUCL said.

The PUCL fact finding team led by Vice President of the State PUCL, senior advocate Ramesh Nandwana comprised of District Secretary Vinita Srivastava, State Executive member and lawyer Arun Vyas besides other members of the PUCL Udaipur District like Shyam Lal Dongra, Kiran Singh, Shri Ram Arya, Hemlata, Rajesh Singhvi and Rashid.