The Gujarat state committee of the CPI(M) has demanded the immediate arrest of VHP leader Praveen Togadia for his exhortation to Hindus to drive out Muslim house-owners from ‘Hindu areas’. In a strongly worded statement, the party’s state Secretary Arun Mehta has also appealed to all secular forces and the people of Gujarat to act forthwith to foil Togadia’s attempt at instilling a fear psychosis among Muslims days before polling in Gujarat.
Togadia had, during a public meeting in Bhavnagar, called upon Hindus to drive Muslims out of ‘their’ areas. He had said Muslims who had homes in such areas should be given 24 hours notice to evict, failing which a Bajrang Dal board should be put on their doors and the house forcibly occupied. He had assured those whom he was addressing that they would have to face no serious consequences for such actions. “When Rajiv Gandhi’s killers have not been hanged, nobody is going to hang you,” he had said.
The police have registered cases against Togadia under various charges including creating animosity between religious groups, but the CPI(M) Gujarat unit in its statement has pointed out that his immediate arrest is necessary to maintain communal amity and peace in the state.
April 22, 2014