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Minority front demands judicial probe into Vadodara violence

Written by: Staff

Vadodara, May 9 (UNI) The All India Minority Front (AIMF) and National Panthers Party (NPP) today demanded a judicial probe into the recent Vadodara violence which claimed six lives and left scores of people injured.

Blaming both the Gujarat Government and the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) for ''illegal'' demolition of the ancient dargah which led to widespread violence across the city, AIMF national president S M Arif and NPP Delhi union president Sanjay Sachdev said the probe be conducted by two sitting judges of Supreme Court.

The leaders of the two political parties also demanded that the dargah be re-built in the same spot, to respect the religious sentiments of the local people. Talking to mediapersons after their visiting families of the riot victims, injured at the hospital and the dargah site, the two leaders alleged that two of the victims killed in police firing were shot on their heads from point-blank range. The responsible policemen should be booked under murder charges, they said.

They said, on their return to Delhi they would submit a report to the President and the Prime Minister about the ''most controversial'' role of the Vadodara police on the dargah demolition day and its ''failure'' to control the riots, in its aftermath.

''The Vadodara violence can't be termed as communal riots. It was a result of a clash between police and public following unprovoked firing on the mob and police excesses.

The leaders also demanded compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs three lakh for the injured. All the riot victims and their families must be provided compensation and rehabilitation, as in the case of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, they said.

On the demolition of the dargah, the duo said the corporation's move was in violation of the Parliament's resolution passed long back, prohibiting demolition of any religious structure that existed prior to the country's independence in 1947. They strongly criticised the Gujarat Waqf Board for failing to properly plead the case in the Gujarat High Court. The UPA government moved the Supreme Court at right time and obtained a stay on the High Court's direction to the State Government for demolition of all religious structures for encroaching public land, they said.

The two leaders argued that unless there was a concensus between two communities, no ancient religious structures should be razed.

Commenting on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the leaders duo said, ''There is no doubt that the State's economy has achieved tremendous growth under Modi's leadership, but at the same time he has tarnished the image of the State by communalising the land of Mahatma Gandhi.'' UNI SS GK SB VV1938

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