The villagers, mostly Muslims, had fled their homes and businesses after the rallies taken out by the Hindutva groups struck panic in the area
Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
NEW DELHI/MANDSOUR – Armed with weapons, thousands of Hindutva supporters from nearby villages on Tuesday descended on the Muslim-dominated Dorana village near Mandsour city in Malwa district of Madhya Pradesh and vandalised houses and other properties, looting cash and jewellery worth lakhs of rupees.
The villagers, mostly Muslims, had fled their homes and businesses after the rallies taken out by the Hindutva groups struck panic in the area, said the locals.
“A 5,000-strong group had come to our village around 2 pm. They kept damaging properties for three to four hours. All Muslims had left the village. They played DJ in front of the mosque to incite the Muslims. No one said anything on this as no one was there. Then, they removed the Islamic flags from the houses and placed saffron flags there. No one prevented them from doing this. Then, they started vandalising and looting properties,” said Muhammed Hakim, a resident of Dorana, while talking to Clarion India over phone on Thursday.
He said that the minority community had no choice but to run away from the village with only 80 houses of Muslims, adding that those standing outside the village were chased away by the vandals.
“They instilled fear in the heart of the villagers. They chased away the villagers with sticks, and even opened fire at them. The vandals mainly targeted seven or eight big houses and looted two shops,” said Hakim, whose Rs 9 lakh worth of cash and jewellery were robbed by the vandals.
According to him, his house, including furniture, was destroyed with the weapons they carried. He said that the vandals resorted to violence in the presence of the police.
The violence at Dorana came to light after some video clips surfaced on social media on Wednesday which showed a rioter removing the Islamic flag of the mosque and placing the saffron flag on its minaret chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
The video clips triggered a lot of outrage. All India Majlis-e- Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi held Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan responsible for the violence against Muslims in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state.
The vandals were part of a rally which was taken out to collect the funds for the Ram temple coming up in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. A communal message was circulated in the name of the Hindutva groups–Vishwa Hindu Parishand, Bajrang Dal, Shri Rashtriya Shivshakti Sangathan, Shri Rashtriya Rajput Kerni Sena, Mandsour–urging people to descend in large numbers in the bike rally at Dorana village at 11 am on Tuesday. The appeal was made by team leader Lokandra Singh Maukhedi.
On Wednesday, a delegation of Muslim representatives met the district administration and the police in Mandsour and submitted a memorandum addressed to the chief justice of the Jabalpur High Court, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, the chairman of the Minority Welfare Ministry, the chairman of the state human rights commission and other government bodies.
In the memorandum, they alleged that the provocative bike rally was pre-planned to target the Muslim community and create communal tension in the area. A day before the Hindutva rally, a complaint was filed with the local police about the rally and its impact on communal amity. The rally was taken out without permission. They demanded police action against the vandals and the robbers who vandalised and looted the properties. They demanded that the National Security Act be invoked against the rioters and the vandals.
With regard to these incidents, the police lodged four FIRs for desecration of a religious place and vandalism. Two separate FIRs were also lodged by Hindutva groups against Muslims, claiming they were abused and attacked, the police said.