Muslim forum slams Gehlot govt for inaction

Sweta Dutta,Sweta Dutta Posted: Nov 14, 2012 at 0232 hrs
Jaipur Upset with the government inaction over the Gopalgarh firing incident that killed 10 Meo Muslims and left 39 seriously injured, the Rajasthan Muslim Forum (RMF) has decided to take the issue to the Congress high command. The community has threatened to withdraw support to the Congress party in the upcoming elections following the ruling party’s apathy.

A team of representatives of the Forum recently visited Gopalgarh and found that no action has been taken even after more than a year since the incident took place on September 14, 2011. Meo Muslims and Gurjjars of the area were at loggerheads over a plot of land near a mosque in Gopalgarh that led to a violent confrontation and subsequent police firing. The Gopalgarh police had registered nearly 20 FIRs implicating even public representatives in the aftermath of the incident. Soon after, the case was handed over to the CBI for investigation.

Mohammad Hasan, member of RMF, told The Indian Express, “During our visit we found that the CBI has made no headway in their investigation. In fact the CBI and the state government has been trying to shield the accused officials in the police and administration, who not only incited the public during the incident but also instructed the police to start firing at the unarmed Muslims. The government has only denied District Collector Krishna Kunal and Superintendent of Police Hignlaj Dan of a posting and no other action has been taken against them. Five victims are still in police custody and their FIRs were taken up for investigation by the CBI only recently.”

Hasan said a couple of months ago when representatives of the Forum met Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to discuss the issue, all he did was to give some more money to the victims as compensation. “We do not need money but justice. The guilty have to be punished,” he said.

Families of the dead have been given a total compensation of Rs 10 lakh each.

The Forum plans to take the issue to the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who had visited the town soon after the incident took place. “We hope Rahul Gandhi will take up the matter and fast-track the investigation. We will also approach the CBI director and the head of the Minorities Commission,” Hasan said.

Mohammad Salim Engineer, national secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, said, “The ruling Congress party in the state is over confident that the Muslim community will support them and therefore they take us for granted. But now the entire community of the region is upset with the government for its inaction and apathy. If the government does not ensure that the guilty are punished soon, they will lose our support completely.”

The Muslim community constitute roughly about 30 percent of the Mewati region including Bharatpur and Alwar in Ra jasthan that has been a stronghold of the Congress.