A poster banning the entry of Muslim traders in a village in Indore district of Madhya Pradesh surfaced on social media on Saturday. The police said they removed the poster and registered a case against unidentified persons, The Indian Express reported.
“Muslim vyapariyon ka gaon mein pravesh nishedh hai (Muslim traders are not allowed to enter the village),” the poster reads. It was reportedly signed on behalf of residents of Pemalpur village in Depalpur tehsil and put up on Saturday.
“The poster was removed as soon as the police learnt about it,” Deputy Inspector General of Police, Indore, Harinarayanchari Mishra told The Indian Express.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh questioned Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the state police about the poster. “Is this not against the appeal made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi?” he asked. “Is this act not a punishable offence under our law? Such a division in the society is not in national interest.”
Last month, Modi had said that coronavirus does not see “race, religion, caste before striking”, and “unity and brotherhood” must be our response to the virus.
There have been several cases of people harassing Muslims across the country after the Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi was identified as a coronavirus hotspot at the end of March. In April, the Centre had said nearly 30% of cases of Covid-19 reported in India were related to a “single source” – the Tablighi Jamaat. Last month, two vegetable vendors in Mahoba district of Uttar Pradesh were allegedly harassed and stopped from selling their goods by a group of people who accused them of being members of the Tablighi Jamaat.
On Saturday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, too, claimed that the Tablighi Jamaat was responsible for the spread of the coronavirus in the state and other places.