A poster calling for the ban of Muslim traders’ entry into a village in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh has sparked a new controversy. Cops have launched a probe after the latest episode of brazen Islamophobia was put on display triggering a strong backlash on social media.
The banner in question was placed outside Pemalpur village in Madhya Pradesh, which is now being governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, the BJP. The poster in Hindi read, “Muslim traders are banned from entering the village. By order: All residents of village Pemalpur.”
Reacting to the viral photo, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh tweeted, “Is this evil act not against the appeal made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi? Is this evil act not a criminal act under our constitution? These questions of mine are for Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the Madhya Pradesh Police? Such division in our society is not in the interest of the country.”
क्या यह कृत्य प्रधान मंत्री मोदी जी की अपील के विरुद्ध नहीं है? क्या यह कृत्य हमारे क़ानून में दण्डनीय अपराध नहीं है? मेरे ये प्रश्न मुख्य मंत्री शिवराज चौहान जा व मप्र पुलिस से हैं। समाज में इस प्रकार का विभाजन-बिखराव देश हित में नहीं है। https://t.co/rGV1qD2UXh
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) May 3, 2020
According to news agency PTI, the police has launched an investigation into the matter. However, Inspector Gopal Parmar said that cops did not find any poster but some pieces of papers near a school. “On the basis of these pieces, a case has been registered against unidentified persons under various sections of the IPC including destruction of evidence,” he was quoted as saying.
The poster calling for the economic boycott of Muslims is the latest instance of brazen Islamophobia against Muslims amidst the coronavirus pandemic in India. Supporters of PM Modi both on the ground and in the media have been making desperate attempts to demonise Muslims by blaming them for the spread of the deadly virus. This had evoked angry reactions from prominent citizens in the Arab countries, prompting Modi and Indian ambassadors deployed in the GCC to issue public statements reiterating India’s commitment to pluralism.