A senior Madhya Pradesh police officer’s order equating Sikhs and Muslims with terrorist organisations has sparked a controversy in the state, reported The New Indian Express on Thursday.
Following criticism, Katni District Superintendent of Police Sunil Kumar Jain, who had issued the order, apologised but claimed that it was a “clerical error”, according to ANI.
The two-page order, dated December 6, was about security arrangements for Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai C Patel’s visit to the district.
The sixth point of the total 23 directives said that “a close watch is to be kept on Sikhs, Muslims, JKLF [Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front], ULFA [United Liberation Front of Asom], SIMI [Students’ Islamic Movement of India] and LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] terrorists.
Jain on Thursday said that strict disciplinary action will be taken against the clerk responsible for making the mistake in writing the order.
“I express regret over this error,” he said, according to ANI. “We had no intentions to hurt the sentiments of any community.”
The contents of the order came to light on Wednesday after Congress’ Madhya Pradesh unit General Secretary KK Mishra posted it on Twitter. Mishra asked whether Jain was a police superintendent or a spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“Till now, it was the BJP that treated the country’s farmers and Muslims as terrorists,” he said. “Now, the police under your [Jain’s] leadership is also officially considering them as terrorists in view of the governor’s visit!...This government will definitely honour [him] with a Padma Shri!”
Congress spokesperson in Madhya Pradesh Narendra Saluja also criticised the BJP government in the state and asked whether Sikhs had been categorised as terrorists under the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government.
“This stance of the state’s police towards a patriotic community is extremely saddening,” he said. “The government must take action against the Superintendent of Police, Katni, failing which it will be understood that this is also the belief of the BJP government.”