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Press release – Condemn attempts to disturb communal harmony in Badwani

 

 

Book the culprits for instigating riots in Badwani, M.P.

 

People’s organizations need to watch and appeal for peace

 

Badwani/New Delhi, 5th Nov 2014: It was the first time in many decades that there were riots in Badwani, Madhya Pradesh, where Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) has its base since 1985. It was the occasion of Muharram and simultaneously some Hindu fellows were having a pooja at Kalika mandir in Badwani, which was held on the road this time and not in the mandir as used to be done earlier. With an intention of not to disturb the pooja, Muslim youth, as per the instructions by Police and their elders took the sideways and passed the area with their procession.

 

As Muslim community was going on their way, some heavy crackers like bomb were thrown at them. After the crackers burst for sometime with stone pelting there was a reaction with stone pelted from other side as well. There was a ruffle for quite some time which turned into a riot like situation.

 

It is shocking that despite the likelihood of such a happening being brought to the notice of police by a senior journalist from Badwani, no observation or any action was taken by police administration.

 

All this resulted in the police not permitting the Muharram procession to be taken out in the streets of Badwani, nor did the grand taja’s lit the main streets of Badwani this year. This is the big blow to the inter-cultural and religious harmony based traditions of the Muharram celebrations which also included Taja’s put up by Hindu families.  Badwani with a sizeable Muslim population has been a city with peaceful co-habitation by various sub-communities belonging to the two religions.  There also exists a joint committee of Hindus and Muslims that organize various performances like Musshayaras,

 

A team of NBA activities including farmer leaders Kailash Yadav, Bhagirath Dhangar and leading adivasi activist Kailash Awasya with Madhuri behan of Jagruti Dalit Adivasi Sangathan worked throughout the night to bring in peace. And yet the apathy and inactiveness of police let to burning of at least three closed shops.

 

National Alliance of People’s Movements strongly condemns the attempt to disturb harmony and peace in Badwani as well as whole of country. We urge all people’s organizations who stand for peace and communal harmony to be alert and watch any possibility of deliberate or otherwise instigating and inciting activities of any fundamentalist group, and take all possible measures to bring in cordial dialogue between communities and establish peace. We appeal to all secular individuals and groups to join hands beyond organization and party lines to carry out such responsibility as a duty towards national integration.

 

Medha Patkar – Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM); Prafulla Samantara – Lok Shakti Abhiyan& Lingraj Azad – Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti, NAPM, Odisha; Dr. Sunilam, Aradhna Bhargava – Kisan Sangharsh Samiti & Meera – Narmada Bachao Andolan, NAPM, MP; Suniti SR, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe – NAPM, Maharashtra; Gabriel Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan – Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, NAPM, TN; C R Neelakandan – NAPM Kerala; P Chennaiah & Ramakrishnan Raju – NAPM Andhra Pradesh, Arundhati Dhuru, Richa Singh – NAPM, UP; Sister Celia – Domestic Workers Union & Rukmini V P, Garment Labour Union, NAPM, Karnataka; Vimal Bhai – Matu Jan sangathan &Jabar Singh, NAPM, Uttarakhand; Anand Mazgaonkar, Krishnakant –Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, NAPM Gujarat; Kamayani Swami, Ashish Ranjan – Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan & Mahendra Yadav – Kosi Navnirman Manch, NAPM Bihar; Faisal Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar, NAPM Haryana; Kailash Meena, NAPM Rajasthan; Amitava Mitra &Sujato Bhadra, NAPM West Bengal; B S Rawat – Jan Sangharsh Vahini & Rajendra Ravi, Madhuresh Kumar and Kanika Sharma – NAPM, Delhi

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