Targeting the Madhya Pradesh government for demolishing homes of suspected rioters, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said no one has the right to destroy someone’s home without investigation.
Gehlot also said the country is supposed to be ruled by the rule of law, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was “using bulldozers” instead.
“Running a bulldozer… demolishing houses… What must have happened? Last night I was watching television… I saw how the houses were demolished… people were crying, they were poor. Nobody has the right… this right belongs only to the law. Let the law do its job. If the rule of law does not exist, then everyone will have to suffer,” Gehlot told reporters here.
“Without any investigation, without being found guilty, you will demolish someone’s house. Even the chief minister and the prime minister do not have this right,” he added.
Authorities in the city of Khargone in Madhya Pradesh on Monday arrested 84 people and demolished 50 structures belonging to men accused of stirring up violence during a Ram Navmi procession the day before, sparking allegations that the administration circumvented the legal procedure.
“Those who threw stones and created the ruckus will not be spared and their homes will be turned into ruins. No one will be allowed to create unrest in the state,” said Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra. The state government will recover damages from the culprits, he added.
The Chief Minister of Rajasthan has claimed that no untoward incidents have been reported in the state on Ram Navmi.
“There were riots (on Ram Navmi) in many other states and now bulldozers are on the way. Where does this disease of running bulldozers come from? If the rulers run bulldozers, where will BR Ambedkar’s reign be, where will his Constitution be? he said.
Gehlot also hit out at BJP MP Tejasvi Surya for attempting to visit the violence-hit town of Karauli, Rajasthan on Wednesday, saying “BJP people are working to start the fire”.
“Why should Tejasvi Surya come here… What happened in Karauli was a very unfortunate incident, we all condemned it. work to set the fire. Since then, these people continuously raise the issue of Karauli,” he said.
More than 30 people were injured in the April 2 violence after a bike rally to mark the Hindu New Year was pelted with rocks in Karauli. More than two dozen people have been arrested in this regard.
The rule of law must remain, be it the Congress, the BJP or any other ruling party, Gehlot said.
“They should act to protect the Constitution and the law. What can be a greater sin than to take an oath and work against the Constitution. These people are destroying the law and the Constitution and democracy is in danger,” he added.
The people of the country, especially the young people, will have to understand in which direction this country is going, otherwise they will suffer in the times to come, Gehlot said.
“They (the BJP) are talking about Ambedkar. They never believed in Ambedkar’s life, nor accepted him. They make a statue of Sardar Patel, who banned RSS. These people adopt different tactics to play politics and win elections. If the locals don’t understand their tactics, then one day everyone will have to pay the price,” he said.
In response, BJP state spokesman Mukesh Pareek said it was through “effective” law and order and its strict enforcement that the party formed its government in the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
In both states, anyone damaging government or private property is subject to strict action.
Pareek also alleged that “the attack on the gathering (in Karauli) was planned in advance and due to the failure of the government apparatus, the violence took place”.