Human rights groups, Muslim bodies, and opposition party leaders on Thursday called upon the Madhya Pradesh BJP government to stop the demolition of homes and shops belonging to Muslims in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone city.
A demolition drive was carried out in Khargone earlier this week, a day after Hindutva violence broke out in the city against Muslims during a procession on the occasion of the Hindu festival Ram Navami. Homes and shops belonging to Muslims had been razed while Hindutva rioters didn’t face any police actions. The police had claimed that the homes that were demolished belonged to those who had thrown stones at the procession.
A major blow to the rule of law: Amnesty
Amnesty International India Chair Aakar Patel said that the demolition of private property of people suspected of rioting allegedly without the due process was “a major blow to the rule of law.”
“The majority of demolished properties are owned by Muslims,” read the statement. “Such punitive demolition of family homes of suspects could also amount to collective punishment, in violation of international human rights law.”
Amnesty India urged the Madhya Pradesh BJP government to carry out a thorough and impartial investigation into the demolition and ensure that those “responsible for fanning violence” are punished through fair trials.
“Victims must be provided with effective remedy. It is the duty of the state to protect all people within its jurisdiction, including minority communities,” Patel said.
BJP’s bulldozer carrying ‘hatred, terror’: Rahul Gandhi
The government should run a bulldozer over problems of the people such as inflation and unemployment but the BJP’s bulldozer is carrying “hatred and terror”, Congress former chief Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday.
“Inflation and unemployment have left the people of the country gasping. The government should run a bulldozer over these problems of the people. But the bulldozer of the BJP is carrying hatred and terror,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
No PM, CM can demolish houses without probe: Ashok Gehlot
“Who has given you this right? Even the Chief Minister and Prime Minister don’t have this right to demolish somebody’s house without any investigation, without finding someone guilty. Imagine what the innocent people are going through,” Rajasthan Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot, told reporters in Jaipur on Thursday.
He went on to say: “I was watching TV yesterday night and saw the people, whose houses were demolished, crying. They are poor people and you have said that since their names had come up as accused, you are demolishing their houses. Nobody has this right (to demolish houses)…This right is only with the law and it should do its work. Everyone will have to suffer one day if there is no rule of law. People are making a mockery of the law, along with that of the Constitution.”
Muslims being harassed, Jamiat chief Mahmood Madani writes to Amit Shah
Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind president Maulana Mahmood Madani on Tuesday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking his intervention to stop “harassment” of Muslims in Khargone, where he has said that properties belonging to Muslims were being “selectively razed.”
“Please allow me to draw your kind attention to a serious trend unfolding in the country against the minority community, that is Muslims. Anti-Muslim provocation by right-wing extremist groups has become a set pattern that is often followed by mass violence. The latest being Ram Navami processions…, after which violence was recorded from many places. Among all, Khargone in Madhya Pradesh perhaps is the most affected place where minority community suffered a lot. Several homes and religious places were torched and looted by anti-social elements,” read the letter by the tall Muslim leader in the country.
Mahmood Madani said he has been informed that so far 16 houses and 29 commercial shops, mostly belonging to Muslims, have been demolished. Among those arrested – 84 – he said 75 are Muslims.
He went on to say: “It is very unfortunate to see that after the outbreak of violence now local administration is harassing the minority community. In a selective manner, properties belonging to Muslims are being razed. People are homeless all of a sudden. Under which laws properties of a suspect of any crime is allowed to be demolished?”
Calling recent spate of anti-Muslim violence in various states of the country, a matter of grave concern Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has demanded the Union and state governments to curb it immediately.
“In Madhya Pradesh, there are cases of extreme cruelty where people’s houses are being demolished by bulldozers,” JIH Vice President Prof. Salim Engineer said.