Controversy erupts after saffron flag atop Ambagadh fort torn down
(Sourced from PTI)
The historic 18th-century Ambagadh fort in Jaipur has become a center of dispute with tensions escalating after a saffron flag atop the fort was torn down by a group of people in the presence of an MLA. Two FIRs were lodged at Transport Nagar Police Station by the tribal Meena community and Hindu right-wing groups on July 22 after the saffron flag was torn.
Earlier in June, an FIR was registered after some Muslim youths allegedly vandalized idols in a temple located inside the fort. On Wednesday, police had to block the entry to the fort and the temple inside it for maintaining the law and order situation.
Independent MLA Ramkesh Meena had then told reporters that Ambagadh fort is a historic monument of the Meena community and some "anti-social elements" tried to tamper with the history of the Meena community, which was unacceptable to the locals that led to the incident. The group led by the MLA had claimed that the fort belonged to the Meena community's deity.
The idols were vandalized by a group from a minority community in the temple and later Hindu right-wing groups pitched a saffron flag atop the fort that hurt religious sentiments, they said. However, on Thursday, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Kirodi Lal Meena alleged that Ramkesh Meena was "trying to create communal disharmony by misleading some people of Meena community and hurting religious sentiments."
"The Meena community follows Hindu religious traditions from birth to death. Ramkesh Meena is trying to hurt religious sentiments by inciting a group of the Meena community. He should be arrested," the MP stated. MP Meena submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to conserve historic sites of the community and take action against those trying to spread disharmony by inciting people's sentiments.
"We demand the government to open the fort and hand over the keys to the Meena community so that they can worship at the temple. Earlier, a plaque was removed, idols were stolen and now entry is blocked," MP Meena said. Meanwhile, Sarv Brahman Mahasabha's President Suresh Mishra appealed to people to maintain communal harmony and open the temple inside the fort for worshipping.
"As far as title of the temple is concerned, the then royal family had handed over to a Brahmin family which is looking after the temple for years. They have the documents and nobody can say the temple belongs to them (Meena community)," Mishra said.