The historic 18th century Ambagadh fort here has become a centre 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 vandalised 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 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 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 Meena community’s deity. The idols were vandalised 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 follow all Hindu religious traditions right 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 said in a statement.
He also submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to conserve historic sites of the tribal Meena community and take action against those trying to spread disharmony by inciting people’s sentiments.
“We demand the government to open the fort and handover 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 told reporters.
He said that in June, some Muslim youths had vandalised idols in the temple following which an FIR was registered against six youths at Transport Nagar police station.
Meanwhile, President of Sarv Brahman Mahasabha Suresh Mishra on Thursday held a press conference appealing 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 belong to them (Meena community),” Mishra said.