Jaipur, July 30 (IANS) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has reportedly been forced to cancel his two days tour of Ajmer following security concerns, informed sources said Monday. Gehlot's office however said the trip was cancelled due to his ill-health.
Sources close to state intelligence bureau told IANS that the security concerns were raised following a recent campaign in which posters equating him with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi surfaced in some minority-dominated areas in Ajmer.
The chief minister was to attend Roza Iftar parties being organised by some minority organisations Monday and Tuesday in the town, some 150 km from Jaipur, which is home to the world famous shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, the sources added.
Minority community members are apparently not happy with the action taken by the Congress in the Bharatpur riots in in September last year which left 10 Meo Muslims dead and over 21 others injured.
Posters - terming the Congress "against the interests of the Muslims" - were posted in all minority-dominated areas in Ajmer Saturday and Sunday prior to the chief minister's visit.
Some of the posters can be seen on mosques, toilets, schools' boundary walls and all other public places in minority-dominated areas in Ajmer here comparing Gehlot with Modi.
The posters read, "What is the difference between Godhara and Gopalgarh? What is the difference between Modi and Gehlot?"
"This campaign has compelled the security agencies to cancel chief minister's visit to Ajmer. The intelligence bureau and other security agencies had been put on high alert after these posters came up a couple of days prior to the chief minister's visit," said the intelligence bureau sources.
However, the chief minister office maintained that Gehlot was not keeping well leading to the cancellation of his visit. "Chief Minister Gehlot has not gone to Ajmer Monday. The trip has been cancelled as he is not keeping well," a senior official at the chief minister office in Jaipur told IANS.
Members of Gujjar and Meo communities clashed on September 14 in Bharatpur district over a piece of land, with one group claiming that it was for a burial centre and the other that it was for a pond. It was alleged that the rioters had support of the local police and most of the victims were killed in police firing.
The state government suspended the district collector and superintendent of police (SP) and removed the entire staff of the Gopalgarh police station.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi also paid a surprise visit to Gopalgarh along with Union Minister of State of Home Affairs Jitendra Singh and met the families of some of the men who were killed in the violenc . The state government has also ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the matter.