Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Monday urged the Centre not to turn a blind eye towards incidents of communal violence in the country, alleging that they were part of a "larger strategy" to orchestrate an environment of polarisation ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Senior party leader Ahmed Patel, in a letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, expressed concern over the constitutional apparatus and state machinery "abdicating their duties either by choice, compulsion or coercion".
"I beseech you to direct the state governments concerned to ensure that the strictest action is taken against those responsible for those communal clashes, irrespective of their political affiliations."
"The Home Ministry may also examine the possibility to take sufficient measures so that such incidents do not re-occur," he said in the letter.
Patel said it was a matter of grave concern that most of these mischievous elements represent vested political interests.
"These incidents of violence appear to be a part of a larger strategy to orchestrate an environment of polarisation ahead of the 2019 general elections. Through you, I request the Centre not to turn a blind eye to these disturbing developments," he said.
The senior Congress leader said in Bihar, a person accused of inciting violence fled from police custody while in West Bengal, a Union minister was seen using threatening language towards those protesting against these incidents.
Patel cited instances of commnal violence in Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Telangana and other parts of the country.
He said these violent incidents displayed a common pattern, unseen in recent times. Religious processions and festivals, which were always celebrated with joy and harmony, were being used by certain elements as a platform to incite religious violence and put one community against the other, he said.
"The agenda of these elements is not to celebrate those holy festivals but to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation," he said.
Patel said violence begets violence and the only loss was that of the nation as these communal episodes had caused destruction of property and life. People of both communities have lost their lives to such "mindless" acts of violence, he said.
He lamented that while parents and families of victims had shown magnanimity by appealing for calm, their appeals had fallen on deaf ears.
"I'm afraid that such a climate of hate will hinder our developmental progress," he said in the letter.