Hanuman Jayanti procession participants hoist flag on Gujarat dargah

Around 100 were part of a procession that stopped at dargah, playing loud music, three men entered and hoisted a saffron flag; five arrested

Hanuman Jayanti procession participants hoist flag on Gujarat dargah Representation image

Three men, who took part in a Hanuman Jayanti procession along with around 100 others, decided to follow their Hindutva leaders elsewhere and target a dargah, this time in Gujarat. They entered, and hoisted a saffron flag on the dargah premises; the procession itself was taken out without due permission in Veraval town of Gir Somnath district late on Saturday, according to the police.

According to a report in The Indian Express, Manoharsinh Jadeja, Superintendent of Police (SP) of Gir Somnath, said, “Around 100 persons were part of the Hanuman Jayanti procession. As it passed by the dargah, three men from the procession entered the dargah premises and hoisted a bhagva (saffron) flag on the roof of the toilet block there.” Police have arrested five persons and detained a juvenile, stated the news report. The purported video clip of the incident posted now on social media, shows a Hindutva mob, dancing to a Hindi film song that has lyrics now taken to signify ‘division’ and othering. There are psychedelic lights flashing as goons attempt to plant a saffron flag on the Muslim place of worship. 



According to the SP, two FIRs were filed, one by a police officer and another by a member of the dargah. Jadeja, told the media that the incident took place between 6 P.M and 9 P.M when a Hanuman Jayanti procession was passing through Vakhariya Bazar area of Veraval town. When it reached Magrebisha Bapu’s Dargah, “Three men from the procession entered the dargah premises and hoisted a bhagva (saffron) flag on the roof of the toilet block there,” the SP was quoted by the IE report. According to the senior policeman as the saffron flag was planted, others in the procession shot videos of the scene and the clips made it to social media.

“An FIR was registered under IPC Section 153 (promoting enmity between two communities) and the other has been registered against two persons under IPC Section 188 (breach of law order duly promulgated by a public servant) as the organisers of the Hanuman Jayanti procession did not have permission,” Jadeja was quoted by The Indian Express. Those among the arrested were identified as Vipul Parmar (30), an autorickshaw driver from Veraval town, and Kailash Malabi (20), a fisherman residing in Sagar Society in Kharvavad area of Veraval town. 

The report says that FIR was registered at Veraval town police station on the basis of a complaint filed by one “Kardarshah Shahmadar who is associated with the dargah”. It stated, “The accused climbed up the terrace of the religious place… and hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslim community… did the act with the malicious intention of promoting enmity between two communities.” On the basis of this complaint, police booked three unidentified men under IPC Section 153(A) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).

The second FIR also registered at the same police station was based on a complaint filed by police sub-inspector (PSI) HB Musa, attached to Veraval town police station. On the basis of this complaint, police booked Nagin Bhuti (28), a fisherman residing near Moti Market area of Veraval town and his elder brother Hitesh (42), residing in the same area.

The additional district magistrate of Gir Somnath district had issued a notification prohibiting public meetings and processions across Gir Somnath district without prior permission. However, according to the FIR registered by PSI Musa, “The accused of this case, took out a procession on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti without due permission and thus committed an offence.” 



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