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Poverty, Unemployment Behind Rising Communal Violence in MP: Civil Society Organisations

Representatives of civil society organisations had constituted two fact-finding teams to look into the two separate incidents of mob fury and communal clash in Seoni and Dewas districts of the state.
Poverty, Unemployment Behind Rising Communal Violence in MP: Civil Society Organisations

Bhopal: Poverty and unemployment among youth are the reasons for upsurge in incidents of mob fury in the name of cow protection and communal violence in the state, claimed civil society organisations of Madhya Pradesh, addressing a press conference in Bhopal on Friday, June 7.

The “increasing grip” of Hindutva politics that use such poor and unemployed youths, and failure of the state machinery to curb the trend are also to be blamed, they said, while taking in account two separate incidents of mob fury and communal clash in Seoni and Dewas districts.

MP press conference against rising communal violence

The organisations including – MP Mahila Manch, National Alliance of People’s Movement, All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch among others – had constituted two fact-finding teams to look into the incident in Seoni where three persons were brutally beaten up for allegedly transporting beef. They also looked at the incident of a clash between dalits and Muslims in Dewas district that left a dalit youth dead recently.

Representatives of the organisations said that it was unfortunate that even the Congress government had not been able to plug the incidents. They demanded firm steps by the government to curb the menace of violence and hatred in the state.

They added that Hindutva groups, such as Bajrang Dal, Shri Ram Sena and Karni Sena, which are behind the incident are responsible for spurring such incidents.

Also read: Violence Against Dalits,Muslims Reported From Across India

They demanded that the youngsters who are trapped in the quagmire Hindutva politics should be identified and 'rehabilitated', adequate compensation should be provided to the victims of communal violence and socio-economic profile of those arrested under cow slaughter ban law should be drawn and they be released forthwith.

They said that in both incidents they found that the victims and even the accused came from impoverished background and belonged to deprived sections of society (scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and minorities).

The four-member team, that investigated the incident at Seoni on May 22 found that both the victims and the accused were poor and deprived. "It is clear that youth from poor families are being provoked to commit violent acts by injecting the poison of hatred into them," said Shivani, who was a member of team.

The team found that Anjum, who was beaten up and is now in jail, is providing food for her children by working as a domestic help. Shree Ram Sena member Yogesh Uikey who was among those who assaulted Tausif, is a Gond tribal. His mother and the mother of another accused, Shubham Baghel, blamed politicians for what their sons did.

Sinha said that Seoni lacks a slaughter house. "That is why, animals are slaughtered at homes, giving an opportunity to mischief-mongers to make all sorts of wild allegations," he said.

In Dewas, elders of both communities said that the incident would not have happened if they were present. In Piplarwa village of Sonkutch tehsil, violence including stone pelting had erupted following arguments between youths in a dalit marriage procession and a Muslim youth standing outside a mosque. The marriage procession had been asked to play music in a low volume near the mosque as prayers were underway, the fact finding team members said.

Also read: Slew of Violent Instances Continues Against Dalits, Muslims

After the incident, the elders of both the communities held meetings and activities to ensure communal amity and told the fact finding team that the area had never witnessed any such clash after 1954. They also said that presence of youth from other villages and town in the marriage procession caused the tension, the team members said.

Appealing to the government to firmly curb the activities of Hindu vigilante groups, the social activists said that they would be forwarding their report to the government.

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