Ten Muslim organizations of
Rajasthan have demanded a judicial inquiry into the recent communal riots
in Phalodi in Jodhpur district, alleging they were part of a conspiracy to
disturb peace in western Rajasthan. The clashes were triggered by
allegations that hundreds of cattle were being taken outside the state for
A joint delegation of the
organizations, which visited Phalodi in early January, released its report
on the December 20 violence and blamed the Shiv Sena, BJP and some
anti-social elements for driving a wedge between Hindus and Muslims. The
regular transportation of cattle was deliberately given a communal tinge
to foment trouble, the delegation said.
The cattle had been bought
from an annual animal fair and were being transported in railway wagons to
Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for agricultural use, Mr Abdul Qayoom Akhtar of
the state unit of All-India Milli Council said.
The report said some communal
organizations in Phalodi had, through public address system, urged people
to assemble at the railway station for ‘saving the cow and its
progeny’. As a result, a huge crowd staged a dharna at the railway track
demanding the release of the cattle and attacked the cattle traders. When
the traders took shelter at the nearby Madarsa Imdadiya, the mob followed
them and burnt the madarsa.
The mob then burnt at least
six shops and a number of cabins, causing a loss estimated at Rs. 5
million. Another madarsa was attacked in Lohawat village the next day.
Questioning the role of
police, the report said the violence continued for 12 hours and though
tension was building up since morning on 20 December, no attempt was made
to stop the spreading rumour.
The death of the former state
unit chief of Shiv Sena, Murlidhar Bohra, during the communal violence has
raised several questions as his body was recovered after midnight near the
railway tracks. The report said since the Shiv Sena leader had died under
suspicious circumstances, it was not proper to accuse Muslims of killing
him until the investigation was completed.
In another important
observation, the delegation found that the slaughter of animals taken from
Rajasthan to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh was not economically viable because
the meat would fetch prices far below the cost incurred on feeding and