BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
New Delhi: A fact-finding team of the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has contradicted the version of the Rajasthan Government on the communal violence that erupted in Gopalgarh in Bharatpur last week and left eight dead and at least 23 injured.
According to the PUCL, eyewitness said that no deaths occurred before the police intervened on September 14 and opened fire at a mob.
On September 14, trouble began in Gopalgarh around 8 pm when two communities clashed over a piece of land. Authorities believe the two groups, Gurjjars and Meo Muslims opened fire at each other and the police, forcing the district administration to order the police to fire.
According to the PUCL, the government version of the events that lead up to the incident and the aftermath were ‘misleading’. The preliminary report stated that not only were all eight killed Meo Muslims, but 19 of the 23 injured as well. Rajasthan PUCL General Secretary Kavita Srivastava said, “The fact that only the Meo Muslims have died and 19 of their community injured is intriguing if the police were, as is claimed, acting neutrally.”
The PUCL report said “the mosque bore evidence of extensive vandalism, which lends credence to the allegation that after the firing the mosque was ‘captured’ by a section of the Gurjjar community in complicity with the police”.