JAIPUR: On the October 30, 2015 the only burial place of the 20,000 strong Bahai community of Rajasthan, allotted to them by the Jaipur Development Authority in 2002, was attacked by a vigilante group lead by BJP leader and presently Sarpanch of the Shri Ram ki Nangal Panchayat and broke parts of the under construction prayer hall and the doors and windows, and desecrated the chowkidars house. They also beat up the Chowkidar and injured him.

According to the representatives of the 1000 population Bahai community of Jaipur this is the first time in India that such an attack has happened to the Bahai community. Since 1850 the Bahais have been coming to India and made it their home and never before has the peace loving non political community seen this intolerance and aggressive behaviour towards them.

An FIR number 515 / 30th oct, Sanganer Sadar thana, was lodged by the treasurer of the local spiritual assembly Rajesh Meena. The sections were diluted while lodging the FIR and simpke sections of unlawful assembly, voluntarily causing hurt,wrongful restraint, mischief and trespass were applied which were section 145/452/323/341/427 of the IPC. Leaving out sections of 295 A, deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. and sec 297 trespassing on burial places as well as conspiracy.(120(B). Incidentally the Sarpanch was there at the police station when the FIR was being lodged.

The Sarpanch of Sri ram ki Nangal, Nathu Jangid won his election on the ground that he would remove the burial place. He has the support of the local BJP. The land given to the Bahai community had been acquired by JDA. Since by 2014 the land had become very valuable he decided to communalise the issue and get the land back.

He motivated the Tehsildar Juhi Bhargava to stop the prayer hall construction. She gave a report that on Orders she would carry out demolition. The JDA who the Bahai community representatives had met on October 28 told them that there was no dispute on the title but they had temporarily stopped the construction.

The Peoples Union for Civil Liberties condemned this incident as part of the growing intolerance and state support of right wing ideologies. The confidence of these vigilante groups is so high as there is direct or indirect support by state agencies.. Even while the press conference was on the Chowkidar was threatened by villagers that he would not be spared if he gave their names.

(Kavita Srivastava is a well known activist in Rajasthan)