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Riots engineered by fundamentalists: Khurana Monday, August 27, 2001
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Bharatiya Janata Party national vice-president Madanlal Khurana, who is in charge of Gujarat affairs, alleged on Sunday that the riots in the city were engineered by Islamic fundamentalists. Hence, Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel had agreed to a high-level inquiry by state intelligence bureau.
Khurana, who was in city to draw up a strategy for the upcoming by-elections to the Sabarkantha Lok Sabha and Sabarmati Assembly seats, met Keshubhai and home minister Haren Pandya, besides state BJP chief Rajendrasinh Jadeja, and requested that peace and order be restored.
He said the CM had assured him that the government would order an inquiry into the circumstances that led to arson and looting in Dariapur, where one person was killed in police-firing.
However, Khurana did not name the group involved in the riots. He brought out leaflets that had been circulated by those who had given the bandh call.
The bandh call followed an incident at Cadila bridge last week in which a group of hawkers were attacked. The senior BJP leader denied that Bajrang Dal activists were involved in the attack. He said collection of 'haftas' from hawkers was the main reason for the clash.
Hinting at the presence of a surreptitious hand in the recent disturbances, Khurana said while the law and order situation had worsened in the wake of the bandh call given by "Muslim businessmen", the Ahmedabad Muslim Vepari Mandal had clarified that they had nothing to do with the bandh. This proved that local Muslims had disassociated themselves from the incident.
While referring to the by-election, the BJP leader said the central election committee would finalise candidates for both the constituencies by the month-end. The state election committee had discussed some proposals received from various quarters for Sabarmati, while Sabarkantha candidates and the BJP by-election strategy would be approved in the next PEC meeting on August 29.
"We will retain Sabarmati and wrest Sabarkantha from the Congress. The BJP has successfully implemented the economic policies and other programmes; therefore, the electorate will prefer them to the Congress," he said.
He accused the Congress of adopting double-standards on the Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank issue. On the one hand the Congress men were staging 'dharnas' against BJP inaction, while, on the other, the party was trying to stall the MMCB revival package, which had been cleared by the Centre, he concluded.
News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]