Congress Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh on Friday said Muslim localities in Madhya Pradesh were being targeted during fund-raising rallies for construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and sought an inquiry by a retired chief secretary or director general of police into the violence. There have been reports of stone-pelting and arson from some places after rallies in Ujjain, Mandsaur and Indore in the last week of December.
"I am saddened today at the manner in which (violent) incidents are taking place. During fund-raising, weapons, lathis (sticks) and swords are on display, inflammatory slogans are being shouted, particularly targeting Muslim localities," Singh told reporters. His statement came after he and Congress MLA Arif Masood met Chief Secretary Iqbal Singh Bains and Director General of Police VK Johri on this issue.
"Hindus and Muslims unitedly fought for our country's Independence. Those who did not even participate in the freedom struggle are out to vitiate the atmosphere of the country," Singh added. "Incidents of Ujjain, Mandsaur and Indore should be investigated thoroughly. The collectors and SPs should be held responsible and must be removed. Why have they given permission for the rallies? It is strange that police cases are being registered against people whose houses were torched, tractors and vehicles damaged, and who sustained bullet wounds," he alleged.
Singh said an inquiry into the violence should be carried out by a "retired CS or DG with an unblemished track record" and those who have sustained losses must be compensated. He added that IAS officials, police and other segments of the bureaucracy must work to uphold the Constitution and not act as "slaves of the BJP or Congress".
Singh went on to add that he was a devout Hindu and "a better Hindu than senior BJP leaders" and the religion taught peace and respect for all. Hitting back, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, in a video clip, said action would be taken against goons and the mafia, and that nobody, "not even Digvijaya", would be able to save those who indulged in stone-pelting, violence.
Incidentally, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Malwa Pranth secretary Sohan Vishwakarma had told PTI that their fund-raising rallies were pelted with stones and had denied that Muslim places of worship was defiled in Indore and Mandsaur during the December 29 during rallies.