Petlad, Gujarat: Communal Violence Breaks Out

 Two days after peace prevailed in communally disturbed Petlad, the police disturb the atmosphere.

 Under the pretext of an investigation, muslim accused were reportedly severely beaten and made to walk bare footed in the scorching heat. 


The police allegedly paraded Muslim boys in the scorching heat and under the guise of an investigation, resorted to beating them publicly. This incident occurred two days after the communal violence which had plagued Anand, subsided. This violation of human rights has angered many people and has led to an atmosphere of tension enveloping the town with the market shutting down. Community leaders appealed to the DSP and demanded the immediate suspension or transfer of PI Vaghela.
According to reports, the incident began with a verbal quarrel about a traffic incident, overtaking by a tractor, which turned into a stone pelting incident between the two communities. Subsequently, several frightened people from the city had left their homes and fled the town. Due to this incident, and the difficulties which citizens would face, the police force was requested to maintain law and order, maintain unity between communities and avoid targeting innocent citizens. According to local citizens, Bagdadbhai Pathan and two others were arrested by PI Vaghela. The reports suggest that the three were targeted only because they were muslims and Bagdadbhai Pathan, an elderly man, along with others were taken to Muslim areas of the town and beaten up. Bagdadbhai Pathan was taken near his house and was made to sit on the hot road and was tortured in the scorching heat. Due to this, people were provoked and it resulted in a light stone pelting incident. After this tension, several shops were shut down and people ran amuck.
According to Local municipal councilor Fahimabanu Malek, PI Hardevsingh Vaghela attempted to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the town. On informing him of human rights violation at his hand, he replied dismissively, saying “do whatever you want to do”.
 According to a local, Sabirmiya Malek  Vaghela has had an anti-Muslim mentality right from the start of his tenure in Petlad. The DSP, Saurabhsingh  said that the accused were taken to their area as part of the investigation and not in an effort to publicly shame them and create communal tensions. Today, the DSP had discussions with leaders from Ahmedabad, including those from the Peace  Committee and now peace has prevailed in the town.

(This report is based on reporting by daily, Gujarat Today)



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