NEW DELHI: Elections are not due for Madhya Pradesh state assembly until November 2023. But this is the state the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party wrested from Congress not by winning the elections but by engineering defections. And therefore it has an iffy power projection. Also, reports from local polls recently showed the BJP struggling in several mayoral contests. Result: periodic street violence against any group that appears to support the Congress, say analysts.
A tweet appeared on Wednesday, showing a Muslim man being roughed up and his mother’s clothes being torn in the Chhindwara constituency of former Congress chief minister Kamal Nath.
There was no independent confirmation of the alleged incident, and no particular motive reported either for the assault. No beef-eating or insulting of Hindu deities. Just bloody-mindedness in a district where the Congress still poses a challenge.
The tweet referred to the incident that allegedly took place seven days ago. It said a mob attacked Wajid Ali, resident of Lalgaon village in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhindwara district, and his family. The emphasis was that the police had dragged their feet.
This man was travelling with his parents when a reportedly predominantly Hindu mob stopped him, assaulted them, dragged the man after tying him to the bike and tore the clothes of his mother. The incident happened on September 15 near Auria village.
The news apparently broke on twitter late on Tuesday evening, a good seven days after the alleged incident. Chhindwara is a predominantly tribal district, and the tribespeople have traditionally voted for the Congress.
Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2022