|File photo (photo courtesy: Downtoearth.org.in)|
Representatives of a tribal community yesterday filed a complaint with the governor of Madhya Pradesh over an attack by alleged Hindu radicals that left 20 people injured.
The clashes occurred on February 18 during a convention in Jhabua, a majority tribal region, said HN Raikwal, an organizer of the event.
He said an estimated 500 activists from various Hindu fundamentalist groups attacked about 1,000 attendees of the two-day conference.
Dhammadip Ramteke, a participant at the conference, said the attackers “accused us of indulging in anti-national activities.”
He added that the attackers also destroyed food at the conference site, disconnected water supplies and electricity connections, and robbed participants.
Raikwal said organizers of the event had obtained all necessary permissions but added that the trouble started after a police inspector took exception to a book in the possession of a conference attendee that questioned the Hindu roots of tribal people.
The Hindu activists later turned up with local government officials, who said they had withdrawn permission for the conference.
Rajiv B Ranjan, spokesperson of the Bharat Mukti Morcha (Indian liberation front), one of the sponsors, said the officials also arrested three attendees.
Ranjan, a lawyer, said his group has taken up the matter with top police officials and bureaucrats in the state.
Sunil Borse, a member of the delegation that met the officials, said the governor’s office assured them of justice while the police chief promised to probe the matter with a senior official.
The police chief was not available for comment, despite several attempts to contact him.
When asked about the matter, district collector Jayshree Kiyawant said the administration was doing its job and refused any further comment.
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