Even though an in­tel­li­gence re­port warned about ris­ing ten­sion be­tween Meos and Gu­j­jars three weeks be­fore the po­lice fir­ing, the Chief Min­is­ter re­fused to act

India Today - - NATION - By Ro­hit Par­i­har

The Ra­jasthan govern­ment did not act on in­tel­li­gence re­ports about com­mu­nal ten­sion build­ing up be­tween Meos and Gu­j­jars in Gopal­garh, Bharat­pur district, over a land trans­fer as early as Au­gust 21, an IN­DIA TO­DAY in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­veals. The in­puts went un­heeded by the govern­ment, ul­ti­mately re­sult­ing in po­lice fir­ing that killed 10 Meos on Septem­ber 14.

The in­tel­li­gence re­port was sent by the of­fice of additional su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice ( CID), Bharat­pur, to Additional Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice (In­tel­li­gence) D.S. Dinkar in Jaipur and sent to then col­lec­tor Kr­is­han Ku­nal’s of­fice in Bharat­pur. Within two days, Ku­nal di­rected the su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice ( SP) and rev­enue of­fi­cials to at­tach the dis­puted prop­erty and ap­point a govern­ment re­ceiver if ten­sions es­ca­lated. Dinkar re­fused to talk to IN­DIA TO­DAY but it is un­der­stood that he had said at a high­level meet­ing held af­ter the in­ci­dent that his depart­ment had alerted the govern­ment in time.

Shock­ingly, when Chief


Min­is­ter Ashok Gehlot chaired a se­cu­rity meet­ing on Septem­ber 13, nei­ther the in­for­ma­tion on Gopal­garh, where a maulvi had been beaten up in the mean­time, nor an out­break of un­rest in nearby Zur­era over ru­mours of the cus­to­dial death of a Meo crim­i­nal on Septem­ber 13, was dis­cussed.

On Septem­ber 28, Gehlot placed Ku­nal and Bharat­pur SP Hinglaj Dan un­der sus­pen­sion af­ter FIRS for mur­ders were lodged against them, two days be­fore Congress Pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi sum­moned him to Delhi for an ex­pla­na­tion. Then additional chief sec­re­tary (home) P.K. Deb op­posed the sus­pen­sions and went on leave. He was sub­se­quently shifted out of the home depart­ment.

The chief min­is­ter’s of­fice had been reg­u­larly in­ter­fer­ing in Bharat­pur po­lice post­ings. It had orally in­structed the col­lec­tor and the SP not to give field du­ties to Additional SP O.P. Megh­wal be­cause Zahida Begum, Congress MLA from Kama in Bharat­pur and daugh­ter of late Meo leader Tayyab Hus­sein, had ac­cused Megh­wal of im­pli­cat­ing her hus­band Jalees Khan in a rape case, se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers in Bharat­pur and Jaipur said. Additional SP Bharat Ku­mar Meena was kept away from prob­lems in­volv­ing Gu­j­jars be­cause of his caste. More than once, Ku­nal and other of­fi­cials told the govern­ment that Dan, Megh­wal and Meena have lost their au­thor­ity in the pub­lic eye.

This ex­plains why no se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers were in­volved in the fir­ing. Con­sta­bles were re­port­edly fir­ing in­dis­crim­i­nately in the ab­sence of clear com­mand struc­ture. At noon on the day of fir­ing, Gehlot was at­tend­ing a func­tion in Khan­dar, which falls in Bharat­pur divi­sion. He re­turned to Jaipur a lit­tle af­ter the Gopal­garh fir­ing be­gan. The Chief Min­is­ter started is­su­ing in­struc­tions three hours later. It took him 11 days to fi­nally visit the site of fir­ing. The district ad­min­is­tra­tion was in a sham­bles by then. It con­tin­ues to be so with Meos boy­cotting Hindu shops and not send­ing their chil­dren to school.




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