Rajasthan govt. announces CBI probe into Bharatpur communal violence

By Md. Ali, TwoCircles.net,

New Delhi/Jaipur: The Rajasthan government on late Friday night announced a CBI enquiry into the Bharatpur communal violence which left eight members of the minority Meo community dead and scores wounded on Wednesday (14th Sep.). A controversy over an Eidgah land led to communal violence between Gujjars and Meos but rather than controlling the situation the police allegedly opened fire on unarmed Muslims.

Support TwoCircles

The decision to hand over the probe to the CBI was taken by the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in a late night high level meeting.

In addition to the CBI enquiry, the state government has also ordered a judicial probe into the incident by a retired high court judge.

The Bharatpur District Collector Krishna Kunal and Superintendent of Police Inglaj Dan have been suspended.

Gehlot also announced compensation for the victims. Rs five lakh each will be given to the family of deceased and Rs 50,000 to each injured. Besides they will be treated free of cost at hospital. The CM also announced a government job to one member of the family of the deceased.

The police atrocities on the local Muslims in Gopalgarh during the communal violence came to light when an ANHAD fact finding team visited the violence hit village and discovered cases of burnt bodies thrown into well.

The team also highlighted the attempts of the local police to suppress and destroy evidences into national media by a press conference on Friday. The AHNAD fact finding team had demanded on Friday a CBI enquiry into the entire communal clash.

Shabnam Hashmi (extreme R) talking to the victims’ family members

Several Muslim groups at the national as well as the state level had protested against the alleged police atrocities on Muslim community demanding a central probe into the incident. Muslim groups like Jamat-e-Islami Hind, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, had highly condemned the violence and demanded strict action against the culprit officers and members of Gujjar community.

Sources in the Gehlot cabinet told TwoCircles.net, that there was immense pressure on the Gehlot government from the Congress high command against the culprits as it was third incident of communal clash in a row in the last one year.

Fearing desertion of Muslim votes from the party fold, the central leadership of the Congress party didn’t want to be seen as anti-minority, particularly when the UPA government has hit an all time low on the popularity chart.

Slippers of those killed and injured, at the Eidgah mosque gate

Muslim leaders reportedly told the central Congress that the state government was increasingly seen as anti-Muslims because of the continuing anti-minority violence. After Udaipur violence last year, in which several members of minority Muslim community were killed, last month an incident was reported in which Muslims were not allowed to perform Eid prayer.

Several meetings were hurriedly held at the level of central Congress leadership. Even Rahul Gandhi office was involved into these meetings which finally concluded in the Congress government in Rajasthan, announcing a CBI probe.

[Photos by Md. Ali of TwoCircles.net]