Some members of the Muslim community on Saturday said they have decided to approach the Madhya Pradesh High Court against the “selective” demolition drive launched by the BJP government in the state, under which it has started razing the houses of those who were allegedly involved in the recent violence in Khargone city and a few other places.
Stating that the demolition drive has rendered several people homeless, a Muslim cleric asked why the government was punishing the family members of those who were allegedly involved in the riots.
The state government has launched the drive against “illegal” properties allegedly belonging to those involved in the stone-pelting and other forms of violence that broke out during a Ram Navami procession on April 10. Several Muslim religious leaders in the state have earlier alleged that members of the community were being unfairly targeted by the authorities following the violence, and houses were demolished in some cases without due process.
“I have asked the advocates from our community to move the high court against the selective demolition drive going on in the state. We are certainly going to move the high court against this unilateral drive,” Bhopal Shahar Qazi Syed Mushtaque Ali Nadwi told PTI over phone on Saturday.
When asked how many houses belonging to Muslims have been demolished in Khargone so far, he said that it will be known once the curfew was lifted.
“The society is run by law. A person who commits a crime should be punished, not his family. Why are houses being demolished if one member of a family commits some mistake,” the cleric said, adding that many families were rendered homeless as a result of the government’s drive.
He also said that CCTV cameras are being installed in mosques across the state, especially in Bhopal, having a large population of Muslims after a stone was allegedly thrown at a Ram Navami procession sparked off violence and communal tension in Khargone.
Earlier, Nadwi had told PTI that CCTV footage will show from where stones were thrown during such incidents. He had also said that the demolition of ‘illegal structures’ of those allegedly involved in violence in Khargone was totally wrong.
Earlier this week, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had warned that his government will not spare anyone found indulging in riots and also justified the demolition of ‘illegal structures’ belonging to those allegedly involved in Khargone.
Taking a cue from the MP government, the BJP dispensation in Gujarat also used bulldozers on Friday to remove “illegal” structures as well as some vegetation in Khambhat town where a Ram Navami procession had allegedly come under attack last Sunday./ PTI