Communal violence: Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan calls for stern punishment, law against stone-pelters
Maintaining that everyone has the right to protest in a peaceful manner, Singh said that violent means of agitation such as vandalising, damaging public and private property is unpardonable crime.
BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh government is working on bringing a law that will not only render strong punishment to stone pelters but also pave the passage for recovering damages from those who damage public and private properties.
"Stone-pelting is not an ordinary crime. It not only leads to injuries and deaths but also creates an atmosphere of fear and lawlessness. Such elements won't be spared as we are framing a law which will ensure stern punishment," chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Sunday.
Maintaining that everyone has the right to protest in a peaceful manner, Singh said that violent means of agitation such as vandalising, damaging public and private property is also an unpardonable crime.
MP to enact law to recover damages to public-private properties from those who inflict damages. CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan's announcement came in the wake of 3 recent incidents of communal violence during Ram Temple fund raiser processions in MP. @NewIndianXpress @TheMornStandard pic.twitter.com/o6BtnMz8bi— Anuraag Singh (@anuraag_niebpl) January 3, 2021
"The law which is being framed will empower the state to even confiscate properties of such violent elements to recover the damages," Chouhan said.
Once the law promised by Chouhan comes into force, Madhya Pradesh will become second state after neighbouring UP to have such a law. In August 2020, the UP Vidhan Sabha had passed the UP Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Properties Bill, 2020.
There have three incidents of communal violence in recent times in the Malwa-Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh during the fund-raising procession for Ram Temple. This region is not just a stronghold of RSS but also the hotbed of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
On December 26, a similar procession was reportedly pelted with stones by people of a certain community in Begum Bagh area of Ujjain. While the cops made over a dozen arrests, there were some who were booked under the contentious National Security Act (NSA). One of the houses from where the stones were pelted on the procession was demolished by the local administration under the ongoing anti-mafia drive.
The incident drew condemnation from the Opposition Congress.
Just three days later, a similar procession procession was attacked by members of a particular community in Chandan Khedi village of Indore district. The attack had subsequently triggered clashes between both sides. Over 26 persons have so far been arrested in the four cases lodged in the matter and parts of around 10 houses in the village from which stones were pelted in the procession have been demolished in the name of pending road widening exercise.
On the same day, another incident of widespread violence was reported during the Ram Temple fund raiser procession in the minority community dominated Dorana village of Mandsaur district.
Those forming part of the saffron outfits procession had stormed into houses of the minority community in the village and vandalised property there.
Violent elements forming part of the procession had also climbed into the houses and replaced the religious flags with their own saffron flags. Some men had also attempted to damage a place of worship belonging to the minority community and also vandalized vehicles of the same community, all in the presence of cops.
It subsequently led to clashes between both sides.
As many as six cases have been registered against 58 named accused, out of which only 5 have been arrested so far.