Dhar/Bhopal: The Dhar town has virtually turned into a fortress with deploying of over 5,000 policemen ahead of Basant Panchmi festival celebration on February 14-15 at the disputed Bhojshala-Kamaal Moula Mosque site.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has said Hindus can perform puja on February 14-15 in the Bhojshala premises, while Muslims can offer prayers on February 15 between 12 noon and 3.30 pm.
The ownership of the Bhojshala complex has long been a matter of dispute between the two communities.
Addressing a press conference after reviewing the security in the town, Indore Division Commissioner Prabhat Parashar and Inspector General Anuradha Shankar said the administration will ensure that ASI`s directives are followed.
They requested the local people to cooperate with the police and ensure a peaceful celebration.
Two Deputy Inspector-Generals of Police, eight SPs, 17 ASPs, 51 DSPs, four companies of Rapid Action Force and a horse-mounted police contingent are camping in the town.
Bhoj Utsav Samiti has appealed the people to come in large numbers to celebrate Basant Panchmi festival on February 15.
A `Dharm Sabha`, organised by the saffron organisations on the occasion, will be addressed by Vishwa Hindu Parishad`s leader Hukumchand Sanvla.
Meanwhile, expressing concern over the developments at Bhojshala, the State Congress Committee`s Minority Cell Coordinator Arif Masood has filed a PIL in Madhya Pradesh High Court`s Indore bench on behalf of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, seeking directives to the police to ensure that no untoward incident takes place vis-a-vis Muslim devotees during the namaz.
Masood has cited incidents of 2006 when some anti-social
elements misbehaved with Muslim devotees which led to tension in the town.
He will also submit a memorandum to the Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav tomorrow on the issue, he said.
Madhya Pradesh State Minorities Commission`s former Chairman Ibrahim Qureshi demanded that state government should ensure that directives of ASI are followed in letter and spirit.
He appealed the people to maintain peace and communal harmony on the occasion, noting that it was not the first time that Basant Panchmi festival was being celebrated on Friday.
Madhya Pradesh Jamiat Ulma MP President, Haji Mohammad Haroon also expressed concern over the developments and demanded that Centre should send an observer.