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‘I am a Muslim, I will pay double the amount for your house,’ Hindus in Bharuch get calls, messages to put pressure to sell their homes

Local residents who had put up 'for sale' poster in protest in a bid to draw the administration's attention towards the matter of demography change are now getting messages on WhatsApp offering them huge amounts for their homes identifying himself only as 'Muslim man'.

Soni Faliyo residents of Bharuch are now getting calls and messages from unknown numbers from outside of country where the person, identifying himself as a Muslim, is pressurising them to vacate their homes. He is also offering double the asking price for their houses at Rs 1 crore. A report by Gujarati news channel TV9 Gujarati shows a resident describing how he got a call from unknown number offering him Rs 1 crore for his house.

In Hathikhani area of Bharuch, a resident can be heard telling the TV9 Gujarati journalist that a person called from unknown number and asked him asking price for his house. When he inquired about his identity, he dismissed it and offered Rs 1 crore against his asking price of Rs 75 lakh. “We feel this is a conspiracy to drive away Hindus from here. About four people who have put up ‘for sale’ poster have got such messages,” a resident said.

OpIndia had earlier reported that residents of Soni Faliya had put up ‘for sale’ posters to protest against the demography change and lack of proper implementation of Disturbed Areas Act in the locality. “If without seeing the house the person offers such high amount, this smells like a conspiracy,” he said. In fact, the person making the offer even offered to buy the entire chawl if everyone wants to sell their homes, he said.

Another resident says how they had put up these posters to raise concerns over implementation of Disturbed Areas Act. “We had presented before the government that in our area where Disturbed Areas Act is in place, such a conspiracy is being done. Now we are getting calls from foreign countries, mostly on WhatsApp so we cannot record them. We are also not given any ID proof of the caller who just wants to give us any amount we demand for our houses,” he said.

The residents have also raised concerns this might be a planned conspiracy to displace Hindus as such calls are coming close on heels of reports of mass forced religious conversion racket being unearthed in Kankaria village, also in Bharuch. Last week, an FIR was registered against nine people on allegations of converting 100 tribals of Vasava community to Islam over past few years by luring them by promising better employment opportunities, money and marriage.

“There people are being converted, here areas are being converted, it is same thing,” one of the local residents said. The local residents have decided to file a police complaint on the same. “It seems like they are trying to see how long before it breaks us,” he said.

Another resident said that all the recent houses in the locality which were sold to Muslim buyers were done without following the SOP (standard operating procedure) for transfer of movable properties in areas where the Disturbed Areas Act is in place. “Despite the government and administration being made aware of the concerns, no steps have been taken against this. Today, a time has come that foreign hands may be involved in such demography change making use of foreign funding and want to give multiple times the value of the house to drive Hindus away from their homes,” he said.

WhatsApp calls and messages offering money to sell their homes

Local residents who had put up ‘for sale’ poster in protest in a bid to draw the administration’s attention towards the matter of demography change are now getting messages on WhatsApp offering them huge amounts for their homes identifying himself only as ‘Muslim man’.

WhatsApp chat

Gaurang Rana, one of the residents who received the above message shared that he has been getting messages offering Rs 1 crore for his house. As can be seen in above chat, the person identifies himself as a Muslim and says that he is ready to pay Rs 1 crore for his house. “It should not be your concern who I am, you be concerned only with money. Do you have a problem if you are paid more than your asking price?” he said.

Residents of Soni Faliya had written to administration raising concerns over change in demography. They had alleged illegal transfer of property to Muslim owners and said that the demography of the area is changing and it has turned into a Muslim dominated area. “If this happens, they could slaughter animals in public places which could be disturbing for Hindus, especially women and children, who are predominantly vegetarian. Similarly it may also cause hindrance to celebration of Hindu festivals. They have already stopped playing of religious songs at Jalaram Bapa temple and Shiva temple in the locality,” the residents say in a note to the Chief Minister of Gujarat written on 2nd September, 2020.

Alleging conspiracy, the residents say that at first one or two Muslims would buy property at high rate. Then the Hindus in the area get influenced and sell their homes. Later, when the demography changes, the remaining Hindus end up having to sell their property at lower rates because of change in demography. “A lot of Hindu areas have now become Muslim dominated areas,” the letter says. The residents further insist that a high level probe is initiated for such transfer of property.

What is Disturbed Areas Act?

District Administration, to maintain communal harmony and peace, could declare certain areas as ‘Disturbed Areas’ which are susceptible to demography change. The transfer of immovable property in these areas would require an elaborate procedure. The seller, in the application, must mention that the seller is selling the property by their own free will.

Disturbed Areas Act is often wrongly interpreted that it applicable where at least one party between buyer and seller are either Hindus or Muslims. The thing is, any such transactions in such areas would require to follow due process. This is to preserve the religious and community value and identity of the areas which are susceptible to demographic change.

A Collector would carry out formal inquiry after any such application is made and police and district magistrate have to carry out the inquiry. In such cases, the authorities have to physically go to the property and take information that is publicly available and even take written approval from people affected. This includes those who live nearby that particular property as well. Only once the procedure is followed and Collector is satisfied will he approve the transfer of property.

Essentially, the Collector is the peacekeeper of the district and it is his/her responsibility that the communal harmony is maintained. To make sure things don’t escalate and communal riots do not break out, the Collector has the responsibility of keeping peace. Through this Act, the government is trying to keep a check on the polarisation of communities in sensitive parts of the state.

Bharuch mass religious conversion racket

These messages and calls on WhatsApp for purchasing properties comes close on heels of the mass religious conversion racket that had recently come to light. 37 tribal families were converted to Islam by luring them with jobs, marriage and even telling them that Hinduism as a religion does not exist. “We were taught there is no such religion as Hindu religion and Islam is true religion. One Abdul Ajit, who himself had converted to Islam, made us such promises. We were not informed that our Aadhaar cards and other identification would be changed. However, he took us to Surat and got legal documents done. He made us sign papers and also got our Aadhaar changed,” Pravin Vasava had said, while speaking to OpIndia.

Vasava was one such who had converted to Islam on promise of financial aide and his name was changed to Salman Patel. He even had his Aadhaar and other documents changed, without his knowledge, he had said. One of the prime accused named in the FIR is one Fefdawala Haji Abdullah, who moved to UK a few years back. He is accused of hawala funding and his name was also involved in the UP mass religious conversion racket unearthed by the Uttar Pradesh ATS earlier this year.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Nirwa Mehta
Nirwa Mehta
Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

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