Accused cop denies Muslims were turned away from Narmada dam

August 8th, 2008 - 10:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Aug 8 (IANS) After his transfer from Narmada Dam site for allegedly refusing Muslim tourists entry to the picnic spot, a Gujarat police officer Friday said he was being “wrongly painted with a communal brush”. “To paint me with a communal brush is most unfortunate,” said police inspector B.M. Rajvanshi, who was posted out of the Sardar Sarovar dam site Thursday following a news report accusing him of disallowing Muslim families from entering the spot.

“I have been helping Muslims. But when it is a question of security every one, irrespective of position, must accept security checks. If not, Ahmedabad (like) blasts could be waiting to re-visit us again at our own peril,” Rajvanshi, now posted to Rajpipla’s Local Intelligence Bureau (LIB), told IANS.

Narmada district police chief Khurshid Ahmed told IANS Friday that Rajvanshi’s “is a routine administrative transfer. There is no more to it.” But the accused police officer said he had requested for the posting as early as July 7.

A report published in a national English daily Wednesday said many Muslim tourists, including a chartered accountant and his family and a visiting London-based NRI family, were not allowed to enter the dam site Sunday and Monday, allegedly because patrolling cops found they had Muslim names.

However, Rajvanshi denied the report and threatened to lodge a report against the scribe who had reported the incident.

“I am going to file an FIR against the correspondent for defaming me (and) saying I discriminated against Muslims,” said a furious Rajvanshi.

“I had told the reporter in detail what exactly transpired. Yet the story has been sensationalised and I am unfairly accused of communal bias,” Rajvanshi said.

“The Muslim NRI family had come late evening. When I asked for the passport they had none. With the state on high alert and no proper papers I had to refuse them entry.”

He said the media had developed a habit of targeting duty-conscious policemen.

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