BJP, Congress spar over death of 24-year-old Dalit man in MP, accuse each other of communal disharmony and minority appeasement

  • The Congress accused the saffron party of disturbing the communal harmony for its vested interests

  • The Congress's allegation comes a day after the BJP held a protest over the man's killing and criticised the Kamal Nath government for adopting the policy of 'minority appeasement'

  • The Congress also accused two BJP MLAs of disrespecting the corpse of the man during the cremation

Bhopal: The recent killing of a 24-year-old Dalit man in Madhya Pradesh has triggered a war of words between the Opposition BJP and the ruling Congress, with the latter on Wednesday accusing the saffron party of disturbing the communal harmony for its vested interests.

The Congress's allegation comes a day after the BJP held a protest over the man's killing in the Sagar city in the state, where it had criticised the Kamal Nath government for adopting the policy of "minority appeasement".

The Congress also accused two BJP MLAs of disrespecting the man's corpse during the cremation.

 BJP, Congress spar over death of 24-year-old Dalit man in MP, accuse each other of communal disharmony and minority appeasement

Representational image. Reuters

The victim, Dhanprasad Ahirwar (24), was allegedly set on fire by four people in Dharmshri Colony in Sagar, around 170 kilometres from Bhopal, on 14 January. He suffered 70 percent burns and succumbed to his injuries in a New Delhi hospital on 23 January.

According to police, the four accused — Chhuttu, Ajju Pathan, Kallu and Irfan — who were arrested after the incident, wanted Ahirwar to withdraw a police complaint he had lodged.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, MP Congress working president Surendra Chaudhary said, "This saddening incident was a result of the enmity between two families. The aggrieved family does not want any political intervention, but the BJP leaders are out to disturb the communal harmony for their vested interests."

"The BJP leaders even forced the wife of the deceased to share the stage with them during their protest even before the family's 13-day mourning period ended. This is shameful," he said.

State Congress media cell chairperson Shobha Oza also alleged that BJP MLAs Shailendra Jain (Sagar) and Pradeep Laria (Naryaoli) tried to snatch the corpse from the family members and raised slogans during the last rites of the deceased.

Congress leaders claimed that the government has cleared a proposal about providing a job to a family member of the deceased.

Financial help of Rs 4.12 lakh has been given to the deceased's family and more assistance is being provided, they said.

BJP MLA Jain denied the charges against him saying, "Instead of extending help to the wife of the deceased, the Congress government is playing politics on the issue. We attended the cremation and did not raise any slogans. But Congress woke up only after BJP's protest."

During their protest in Sagar on Tuesday, the BJP leaders had accused the Congress government in the state of adopting a policy of minority appeasement.

Former state chief minister and BJP national vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan had alleged that the accused in the case wanted to kill Ahirwar in 2019 as well, but police did not take action.

"It was the government's duty to arrest the accused, but it did not do so as they belonged to a minority community," he had said.

The BJP leaders also alleged that the crimes against Dalits were rising in the state under the Kamal Nath dispensation and the party's high command will have to answer.

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Updated Date: Jan 29, 2020 20:25:50 IST