Authorities Raze Houses Day After Mosque Attack in Indore: Report
While the administration cited road-widening work, residents said it was a retaliation for previous day’s events.
A day after communal clashes were reported from Indore on Tuesday, 29 December, parts of as many as 80 houses of the village were razed citing widening of road for developmental work on Wednesday, The Times of India (TOI) reported.
Clashes broke out in the Chandankhede village of Indore after some people allegedly chanted Hanuman Chalisa in front of a mosque and tried to vandalise it, while a group of people was carrying out a rally to collect funds for the construction of Ram Temple.
This is the second such clash that was reported from the state just days after a similar rally by right-wing youth triggered clashes in Ujjain.
Senior police officials told The Indian Express that around 200 people stopped outside a mosque in Chandankhede village under Gautampura police station and chanted slogans, which resulted in a verbal altercations and stone-pelting.
Local residents said that amid the clash, some people also climbed on the minaret of the mosque while chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans and tried to vandalise it.
Videos accessed by The Quint also show several youth climbing atop houses in the area and hoisting saffron flags.
The rally was organised to collect donations for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
WHAT THE POLICE SAID
“Twenty-four people, mostly from the village, have been rounded up based on video evidence. There will be more arrests on both sides and people who climbed atop the mosque will be identified and booked under relevant sections,” Yogesh Deshmukh, Inspector General of Police, Indore said, as quoted by The Indian Express.
According to the report, Collector Manish Singh and SSP Harinarayan Chari Mishra were at the spot till late on Tuesday night, trying to defuse tensions.
Section 144 has been imposed in parts of the city including in gram panchayats of Chandankhede, Dharmat, Rudrakhya, Sunala, Dudhakhedi and municipal councils of Gautampura and Sanwer, ANI reported.
HOUSE RAZED FOR ‘DEVELOPMENTAL WORK’
The administration razed parts of at least 80 houses in the village on Wednesday citing “widening of road as a part of development work,” according to The Times of India (TOI). The residents, however, have called the move a retaliation to the unrest that took place on Tuesday.
“We have started removing 10-ft-wide portions of around 80 structures situated on either side of the lane for widening of a road in Chandankhedi village. Locals are also helping us and removing the hurdles on their own to pave way for development work,” Depalpur SDM Pratul Sinha told TOI.
The locals, who chose to stay anonymous, said that they were informed about the demolition just few hours in prior.
BJP district president Rajesh Sonkar told TOI that the move should not be seen as targeting a particular community.
“It’s the main road of Chandankhedi village, which connects it with many other villages. Widening of the same road was a long pending demand. It should not be seen as an action against people of a particular community,” he said, as quoted by TOI.
The clash in Indore comes just days after a right-wing youth rally triggered a clash in the Muslim-dominated area of Begum Bagh in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain on 25 December.
Stones were allegedly pelted at the mobilisers, who were allegedly raising inflammatory slogans while collecting funds for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
The police booked several people under the National Security Act (NSA), and charged at least three people with rioting and attempt to murder. At least 15 people have been arrested so far.
The controversy flared after the local administration also demolished a house and damaged another from where stones were allegedly pelted, a move that the authorities cited was “to remove illegal structures”.
(With inputs from TOI and The Indian Express.)
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