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Sangli Communal Violence

The Indian Express
September 8, 2009

BJP announces stir, Sena gets into act


THE BJP and the Shiv Sena on Monday set about turning the Sangli-Miraj clash and Gopinath Munde's detention into a poll issue, the former declaring a statewide agitation against the government, the latter asking activists across the state to put up posters similar to the hoarding that had triggered the clash in the first place.

The hoarding had depicted Bijapur's Islamic warrior Afzal Khan being killed by Shivaji Maharaj in Sangli-Miraj. The Sena, in its mouthpiece Saamna, urged "Shiv premis" to display such pictures across the state and "keep the blazing history of Shivaji alive".

It accused the Congress-led government of hypocrisy, for planning a giant statue of Shivaji in the Arabian Sea off the Marine Drive and at the same time trying to "gag Hindus for displaying the valour of Shivaji".

The party accused the government of victimising Hindus and appeasing Muslims in the run-up to the Assembly elections. It asked whether the government expected Shivaji to have felicitated an invader like Afzal Khan.

For the BJP, Munde began his journey by road while his partymen declared a statewide agitation from Tuesday. Effigies of government leaders would be burnt in protest against their alleged inertness against people targeting Hindus.

Blaming the Congress-NCP government for communalising the Ganesh immersion procession in Miraj, state BJP chief Nitin Gadkari said that there had been no complaint from Muslims.

"It is the political interference of the NCP and the Congress that has created this communal tension for votebank politics. The government is solely responsible and they cannot stop our leaders who were going to resolve the crisis," said Gadkari.

He said the government had played with the sentiments of Hindus and would pay the price in the elections.



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