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Follow up: Malpura is still tense

It is more than a month when the violence broke out in the communally sensitive district of Tonk. Malpura, a small town in the district went up in flames when Kailash Mali was killed on 10 July by unknown assailants. Kailash Mali was the main accused in the riots which erupted in the wake of the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 and was alleged to have been involved in about a dozen killings. About two dozen persons had been killed in that burst of hatred. Kailash Mali was involved in the murder of a few Hindus too. He was involved in more than 14 cases of rape and murder. Though the killers were not identified , it was alleged that it is the handiwork of local Muslims.

More than a dozen people were killed and properties worth millions were destroyed in the riots that followed the murder of Kailash Mali. Curfew remained in force even more than twenty days after the riots. A large contingent of police is still manning the town and people are insisting that it should stay for some more time till the tension dies down in the town. 

Even after a month the town is tense. Tension and fear are reported even from other parts of the district. Muslims are more scared as they are the main target of the fury. Memories of the past have not vanished when they were chased and murdered, their properties looted and shops and business establishments set on fire. People are scared and suspicious of each other. Rumors are running high.

A delegation of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Rajasthan and the Milli Council visited the town and assessed the situation there. The delegation met the chief minister of the state, Ashok Gehlot, and presented a memorandum to him. The delegation met several people who suffered in the riots and tried to assess the loss. It met relatives of Muhammad Ali (55) and Muhammad Salim (35) who were murdered while working in their fields. A relative of the deceased told the delegation that he too was working in a nearby field when assailants who were nearly 35-40 in all attacked Salim and Ali. He said that he ran to save his life and also tried to caution them but in vain. He informed the delegation that the assailants even chased him, but he succeeded in running away and saved himself. 

People also told the delegation that even children of 13 and 14 were not spared. Two kids were killed while grazing goats. The delegation also met several government officials and insisted that the culprits be brought to book and punished. The delegation distributed relief material among Muslim and non-Muslim riot victims in Malpura and Tordi Sagar. 

The delegation visited Tordi Sagar a nearby village that was also hit by violence following riots in Malpura. It met affected people there. After visiting the town and other riot prone areas the delegation felt that the BJP and Shiv Sena tried to reap political fruits after the murder of Kailash Mali. Bandh called by them gave rise to communal frenzy and thus riot started. The delegation saw that in small villages surrounding the town people are still fearful. 

An important thing that the delegation analyzed was the exemplary role that was played by the police and administration during those days. It helped in maintaining law and order in the town. Locals also appreciated police role. The delegation has demanded that innocent must not be touched. And perpetrators of crimes be booked and punished.

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