On May the 30th, Tension gripped the old part of the City of Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh when members of a certain community wished to offer prayers in a temple inside the Hamidia Hospital campus. They claimed that some minarets were unearthed during the restoration work inside the hospital which proved the presence of a mosque hence necessitating the need of prayers there.
The Bhopal district administration declined to give permission to the community under discussion to offer prayers. This led to a clash and widespread rioting. In the meantime, the Ameer-e-Shariyat, Mufti-e-Azam, President of Jamiat Ulama, Madhya Pradesh Mufti Abdul Razzaq Khan issued this outrageous missive to Bridran-e-Islam (Islamic Brethren).
This image was tweeted by ABP Journalist Gaurav Shrivastav
The Mufti conclusively proclaims that there indeed was a Qadimi Mosque near the blood bank in the Hamidia Hospital. The Mufti urges his brethren to somehow rescue the mosque from the clutches of dishonourable government officials who have denied repeated pleas of the community to offer prayers inside the premises. The Mufti explicitly requests his brethren to sacrifice their life and money at the altar of this pious movement.
This is as inflammatory as it can get. Appealing to a bunch of people charged by religious fervour, to sacrifice their lives for what he considers a pious pursuit is like playing with matchstick near a heap of gunpowder. And the effect was visible. The fanatic mobs torched a number of vehicles and even damaged a Police Patrol Vehicle. A huge contingent of police had to be deployed to control the fanatic mobs.
Experts of Madhya Pradesh Archaeological department, led by Department’s technical advisor Ahamad Ali claimed that the site cannot be a mosque as it was a tactical part in the Fatehgarh fort. And they presented a number of reasons for it:
- The gate of the site is made up of strong wood implanted with sharp protruding metallic spikes as defense against men, elephants and even siege weapons
- The entry gate situated at the basement is narrow which would have made it easy for the guarding sentries to stab any trespasser, religious places have wider entrances
- The staircase is very narrow too constructed in a way that allows passage to only one man at a time, again this is atypical of religious place
- There are watchtowers all around which are distinctive traits of forts
- The minarets are small in size and were there solely for enhancing the beauty of the place
Further, the Archaeological department added that a War Memorial plaque was present at the gate of the building, commemorating the martyrdom of soldiers who from Bhopal estate who went to participate in the World War 1. It is estimated that 34 brave soldiers of the Bhopal Estate lost their lives in the war.
So, all these evidences decisively prove that there was no mosque present at the site and the riots and the entire commotion is the brainchild of certain rogue elements. The role of the aforementioned Mufti must be investigated and he must be booked for inciting riots and communal hatred. The rioters must be booked for vandalizing state property and attacking peaceful temple-goers. I won’t be surprised if the whole incident is politically motivated, because the way the mob assembled and created mayhem all of a sudden, appears very well coordinated. Shiv Raj Singh Chouhan is undeniably one of the most able administrators in India and he is also perceived as a secular face in his state.
Riots in Bhopal over a non-existent mosque could be the desperate opposition’s ploy to tarnish the image of CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
And one must not forget the dubious role of media in this incident. When fanatic crowds of rioters were running berserk in the streets of Old Bhopal, rioting, torching vehicles, beating up people mercilessly, the media of India observed a TOTAL BLACKOUT. They were more concerned about a couple of trolls opining about the length of Priyanka Chopra’s skirt. The riots in Bhopal remained a completely forgotten affair. Of course, this is yet another proof of Media’s biased position.