By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, Aug 1 (IANS): Jaipur's historical Amagarh fort and the Amba Mata Temple situated inside the fort has triggered a community war in Rajasthan.
On Sunday, BJP Rajya Sabha member and veteran Meena community leader, Dr Kirorilal Meena, was arrested after he unfurled a Meena community flag on the fort, but was released later in the afternoon.
His arrest immediately brought strong reactions from veteran leaders like former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, Former union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore and many more who accused the Congress government of playing politics to divide the community.
Raje said, "The arrest of Dr Kirori Lal Meena, who gave a befitting reply to the Congress, is condemnable. Dr Meena should be released immediately."
Former union minister Rathore also accused the state Congress unit of dividing the society and said, "Rajasthan Congress has been doing continuous politics to divide the society. Dr Kirori Lal Meena ji answered their divisive politics and hence was arrested. His arrest is very unfortunate. He should be released immediately."
Looking at the growing demand on social media, police released the veteran leader who had smartly managed to ditch the enhanced security to scale the fort's wall in early morning hours while crossing the jungles through the hill-secretly "to hoist the community flag".
Amagarh Fort in Jaipur, in fact, has been a centre of conflict for the last few months.
While a section of tribal Meena community has claimed ownership over the fort, the Hindu groups too have staked claim and hence the conflict.
Meanwhile, Kirorilal Meena, a strong community leader of Rajasthan, started a fresh war by claiming, "Tribal Meenas are Hindu, Tribal Meenas were Hindu and Tribal Meenas shall remain Hindu. Those who don't consider themselves as Hindu don't deserve reservations!"
He also announced that he shall hoist a flag of the community at the disputed site and accused the independent MLA Ramkesh Meena, MLA Gangapur city and State President of Rajasthan Adivasi Meena Seva Sangh of distorting the peace and harmony of the community.
Ramkesh said that people from the community used to worship Amba Mata and other deities in the fort which was later converted into Ambika Mata Temple and a saffron flag was unfurled there by hindu activists.
In June, a few reports said that idols were vandalised in Amagarh Fort. Meena community members then started accusing Hindu groups of trying to appropriate tribal symbols into the Hindutva fold, and of changing the name of Amba Mata to Ambika Bhawani.
On July 21, a video of saffron flag getting torn in the process went viral on the social media. While Hindu groups accused Meena community members of tearing the flag in presence of Ramkesh Meena, the other Meena leaders said that the Hindu groups had agreed to take down the flag after discussions, and that it got accidentally torn while members of the Hindu groups were pulling it down.
Soon after, a Brahmin group too joined the debate and its leaders said that Ambika Bhawani near the fort belongs to a family of priests conducting rituals here for generations.