A day after the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan appointed IAS officer Krishna Kunal to the post of Jaipur District Collector (DC), activists and minority groups appealed in a letter to the CM, that Kunal, who was collector of Bharatpur during the Gopalgarh firing, be immediately removed from the post.
Kunal was suspended on September 2011 along with then SP Hinglaj Dan by the Ashok Gehlot government for failing to control the communal riots in Gopalgarh, in which ten Meo Muslims were killed.
Kunal was kept on Await Posting Orders for two years post the incident, during which he approached the Central Administrative Tribunal contesting his suspension. In March 2012, the Tribunal stayed his suspension, observing that the state had failed to issue an inquiry. Kunal was then posted as the settlement commissioner before being brought back as Jaipur DC Thursday.
Reacting sharply to the appointment, 14 activists from NGOs and pressure groups wrote to Raje seeking Kunal’s removal. They said they were “saddened” by the appointment and claimed that it was due to the “connivance” of Kunal and SP Dan that 10 Muslims were killed in the Jama Masjid of Gopalgar on September 14, 2011. “About forty persons were injured and houses and shops were burnt and looted by a mob while the district administration watched with glee,” the letter read.
“Under political and social pressure and criticism, he (Gehlot) suspended both the DM and SP. However, the then bureaucracy successfully protected them,” it said.
The activists who wrote to Raje include Kavita Srivastava, national secretary PUCL; Prem Kishan Sharma, state president PUCL; M Hasan, minority activist; Mohammad Saleem Engineer, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind; Rajendra Kumbhoj, Aam Aadmi Party and Nishat Hussain, chairperson Muslim Welfare Society.