Gujarat: Complaint filed against mob attacking Muslims

Police complaint filed against mob targetting Muslims over joint ownership of hotel with Hindus in Gujarat

Senior police officers said that an inquiry into the incident is going on

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

Three days after a group of Hindu men and women opposed construction of a hotel, jointly owned by both Muslim and Hindu businessmen in Anand town, about 90 km from Ahmedabad, shouting objectionable slogans targeting Muslim owners and the community at large, a written complaint was filed with the local police against the mob. 

Senior police officers said that an inquiry into the incident is going on but as on Wednesday evening, none of the affected persons including the owners of the hotel came forward to file an FIR. On Wednesday, a local resident, Shakil I Vohra filed a written complaint with Anand Town Police station against Pinkal Bhatia, Shailesh Shah and 50 other persons who were part of the mob. 

The complainant states that several videos have gone viral showing a group of more than 50 people performing "gangajal shuddhikaran (purification)" of 80 foot road, where the hotel "Blueivy" is located, and making highly objectionable speeches against Muslims. The incident happened on the day, when the owners had planned opening of the hotel.

"We have received a complaint against the mob and launched an inquiry into the incident. None of the hotel owners have approached the police as yet. Besides, the matter is subjudice," Anand district Superintendent of Police, Ajit Rajian, told DH. 

When contacted, Dr Shailesh Shah told DH, "There is no doubt that I started the agitation but the target was not a particular community. I don't approve of it. Our protest was against illegal construction of the hotel. During the protest, other people made some objectionable comments."

One of the hotel owners, who didn't wish to be identified, said, "I am a businessman and can't fight with these people. I have three restaurants offering pure vegetarian food in Anand town. I don't want to get into trouble as I have to run them peacefully. On 24th, we were supposed to open the hotel for public but we had to postpone it due to the protest." The Muslim parterners of hotel are from Chelia community, known for running hotels along the highways.

During the protests, as the videos and number of photos revealed, a group of women are performing the "gangajal shuddhikaran", while another group of men are shouting slogans, carrying pictures with objectionable messages against Muslims. 

The protesters are also demanding closure of the hotel on the grounds that it violated the disturbed area act that prohibits transaction of properties between people from two different religions without government's approval. The hotel owners claimed that they had got the sale deed done much in advance before the concerned area fell under the disturbed area. 

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