“Does the Constitution not allow Muslims to participate in their college events, be it garba or anything else?” asked the uncle of one of the youths who was arrested.

Representative image of people dancing at a garba and dandiya event held during NavratriImage for representation only
news Controversy Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 10:21

Four youths belonging to a particular community were arrested from a garba pandal of a private college in Indore in Madhya Pradesh by the police on the charge of fear of disrupting public peace. Police also registered a case against the organisers for allowing more than a permissible number of people on the occasion.

The four youths were taken into custody on Sunday night after activists of the Bajrang Dal created ruckus at the event over the participation of people from a particular community, eye-witnesses claimed. Garba dance is organised in different pandals during the ongoing Navratri festival.

"They (the four youths) were arrested under CrPC section 151 (Arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences) from a private college campus in Gandhi Nagar area during garba," Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Parag Jain said. All of them were sent to jail on Monday for fear of disrupting public peace, he said.

Bajrang Dal's local coordinator Tarun Devda filed a complaint with Gandhi Nagar police station alleging that the administration had given permission for inviting only 800 people to the garba pandal but the organisers turned it into a commercial event and sold tickets. Nearly 2,000-3000 people were given entry to participate in the programme, he alleged. Devda also alleged a large number of persons belonging to a particular community were especially present in the programme.

On the complaint of Devda, a case under section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code was registered against college management's Akshay Tiwari, but he is not yet arrested.

Meanwhile, Congress spokesman Ameenul Khan Suri attacked the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government on the arrest of four youths. Why can't people belonging to different religions participate in each other's festivals in MP? Police and administration should follow the Constitution of the country, he said.

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