Amnesty International India on Friday demanded Indian authorities to stop “apparent unlawful demolitions” of largely Muslim owned properties in Khargone, Madhya Pradesh.
The human rights group was responding to reports of demolitions of largely Muslim owned shops and houses following incidents of communal violence during Sri Ramnavami celebrations in Madhya Pradesh Khargone district. Amnesty India termed the coercive action as a “collective punishment” and “violation of human rights laws”.
Aakar Patel, chair of Amnesty International India’s board said in a statement, “Over the last few days, the country has witnessed some deeply disturbing events related to unlawful action of demolishing private property of people suspected of rioting, allegedly without notice or other due process requirements is a major blow to the rule of law. The majority of the demolished properties are owned by the Muslims. Such punitive demolition of family homes of suspects could also amount to collective punishment, violation of International Human Rights Laws”.
He added that the authorities must “urgently” carry out a thorough, impartial and transparent investigation into the demolitions and ensure that those responsible for fanning violence and vandalism are brought to justice through fair trials. “Victims must be provided with effective remedy. It is the duty of the State to protect all the people within its jurisdiction, including minority communities,” the chair of Amnesty International India stated.
It may be recalled that on April 11, a curfew was imposed in Khargone city in Madhya Pradesh after provocative slogans were allegedly raised near a mosque during Ram Navami celebrations which resulted in a riot. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan later ordered the demolition of properties and homes of those who were allegedly involved in the violence. Most of the families hail from poor economic backgrounds.