Peace talks between the Jat community and Muslims at Ballabhgarh failed again on Monday amid growing outcry from opposition political parties criticising the BJP-led Haryana government for lack of action.
The district administration hastened to organise a meeting of Muslim community leaders, senior police officials and local legislators — BJP MLA from Ballabhgarh, Mool Chand Sharma and BSP MLA from Prithla, Tek Chand Sharma. But it was of no use.
“Nothing could come out of the meeting. The status is exactly the same. The district administration has offered to make arrangements for them (Muslims who fled attacks in Atali village last Monday) at a school. But they didn’t accept that,” said Subhash Yadav, Commissioner of Police for Faridabad, after attending the meeting.
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Explaining the reason for their rejection of the proposal, Muslim community leader Isak Lambardar said, “Our immediate demand remains the same — the arrest of the accused and police protection while we build the mosque. But the administration fears that doing either can lead to further violence which is why they’re delaying the process.”
Yadav maintained that the police is taking all possible measures to ensure that peace returns to the village and that the accused are nabbed. But he admitted that “the situation is very sensitive and the police need to proceed very carefully”.
Meanwhile, the Ballabhgarh City Police station, where the Muslims have been camping since communal violence broke out at Atali village, has transformed into a political arena, with members of the opposition turning up to meet the riot-affected community.
On Monday, Asaduddin Owaisi, president of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party, came to the police station and alleged that “after 30 houses were completely burnt, no compensation has been given by BJP’s Haryana government”.
A Left delegation, led by CPM’s Tapan Kumar Sen also visited the police station.
“Such kind of destruction is only possible if there is prior preparation. It seems that the violence wasn’t a spontaneous clash, but a well-planned attack by communal forces. All the accused are known to the police and the locals, yet no arrests have been made,” he claimed.
The Congress said that they will be sending a fact-finding team to the district in the coming days.
Shakeel Ahmed, AICC general secretary in charge of Haryana, said, “After the violence, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda contacted the DGP of the state, asking him to ensure that all steps are taken to maintain peace. We have spoken to the local Congress leaders to ensure that all aid is provided to those affected by the riots and the party will be sending a fact-finding team once the situation is more peaceful.”