Scores of concerned citizens of Gujarat have written an urgent letter to the state’s Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel to draw his “attention to the inflammatory hate messaging on the social media and public calls for violence against the Muslim community, following the unfortunate, condemnable murder of Kishan Bharwad in Dhandhuka by certain criminal elements.”
They write that the local police “acted with alacrity and efficiency and the investigations are going on, and there is nothing wanting as of now in the action taken by the police, especially now as the culprits have been arrested and even the ATS have been engaged” However, the hate messages and public calls for violence against a community “are criminal and dangerous and have the potential of instigating further violence,” write the citizens reminding the state of its duty “to track and apprehend such criminal elements to ensure that law and order prevails.”
Thirty-year-old Kishan Boliya alias Kishan Bharwad, was shot dead allegedly by two bike-borne men in Dhandhuka on January 25. Police revealed that Bharwad was killed allegedly after an objectionable video was posted by him on social media. The video reportedly showed images of Jesus as “son of god,” Prophet Mohammed as “messenger of god” and then goes on to say “your father is here” and shows various images of Krishna titled “I am god”.
A day after his arrest, a magisterial court granted eight days remand of cleric Maulvi Qamar Gani Usmani (40) to the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS), on Monday. He had been arrested in connection with the recent murder of Kishan Boliya alias Kishan Bharwad in Dhandhuka, Ahmedabad. Apart from Usmani the ATS was also given eight days remand for another accused Azeem Sama (38) from Rajkot. The two men were arrested on January 30, and will be in police remand till February 7.
According to a report in Indian Express, the ATS also “submitted that it will investigate if the two accused are affiliated with any Islamic fundamentalist organization or banned anti-India terrorist groups.” Those arrested in the case so far include clerics — Maulvi Qamar Gani Usmani and Maulana Mohammad Ayyub Javarawala — and Sabbir Chopda, Imtiyaz Pathan and Azeem Sama.
The concerned citizens wrote to the CM to note that after murder at Dhandhuka, “protesting mobs in Dhandhuka and Rajkot had turned unruly and had attacked the police and caused damage to public property too. This indicates how volatile the situation is, and therefore underlines the need for concerted action on the part of the police to ensure that the life, property and livelihoods of the Muslim community across Gujarat are not endangered in any way.”
The citizens, who hail from different communities and regions of Gujarat have spoken up in one voice asking the CM to “direct the police to track, file FIRs against and apprehend those criminal elements propagating hate messages against the Muslim community in the social media and prosecute them”. They have asked that the police take preventive action “so that the situation does not go out of control and result in violence against any community” and identify sensitive areas, where protection needs to be deployed to safeguard “Muslim settlements where residents are apprehensive of violence by local criminal elements.”
The letter may be read here: