An organisation with an Urdu name, a plan to set up community places by flattening rocky land, and the “fear of Muslims” — men linked to a Hindutva outfit in Madhya Pradesh bought 200 acres of land allegedly using a mix of development and communal stereotypes.
The people who sold them the land on the outskirts of Khargone town in the 2000s — most of them small farmers — have approached the police for an inquiry, as a housing colony is now taking shape in the area. They say they feel cheated as they sold the land “because we were told it’d become a Muslim area”.
The police and the administration did not respond to requests for comment.
The BJP has distanced itself. “Our party has nothing to do with this. This issue is between the seller and the buyer and they have their own economic interest,” said Rajnish Agarwal, state BJP secretary.
Farmers say they were “tricked” out of their land, as they thought the agents who approached them were Muslims.
“I sold my land in 2004 when a man named Zakir came to us and said he has bought all the land around ours,” claimed Nandkishore Kushwaha, “He told us there will be a slaughterhouse here soon. ‘Sell your land to Muslims as the community is settling here anyway,’ we were told.”
He said he got ₹ 40,000 for five acres.
A businessman named Sanjay Singhvi said, “My relatives felt that a Haj Committee would be formed, Muslims would settle here — that’s why they panicked and sold the land. In the end, I sold mine as well.”
Mr Dandir was earlier state co-convener of the Bajrang Dal, and also served as president of a cooperative bank.
“I am inspired by Anna Hazare and Baba Amte. We wanted green land here, to give a message to society,” he added.
District Collector Kumar Purushottam did not respond to phone calls and WhatsApp messages.