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Muslim mass migration in Pirana in Ahmedabad is fake news: How one Nasir Sheikh spread panic amid escalated communal tension

In the new video uploaded by Kapoor, Nasir, a resident of Batwa, Ahmedabad, later said, "When I visited Pirana Dargah, I saw people walking on the road in large numbers. Someone told me they were leaving the place, but the reality was different. They are not leaving Pirana but marching towards Collector's office to submit a memorandum."

On January 30, a few videos on Pirana, Ahemdabad, went viral on social media platforms in which a person named Nasir Sheikh alleged the Muslims were forced to leave Pirana by RSS and VHP activists. India TV Journalist Nirnay Kapoor debunked the claims and said there was no mass migration of Muslims from Pirana. In a series of tweets and published a video of Nasir in which he admitted to spreading fake news.

In his tweet, Kapoor said, “Nasir, who had published videos of Muslims leaving Pirana, has uploaded another video. The Muslims who were shown as leaving the village were, in reality, marching towards the Collector’s office to submit a memorandum. It was an attempt to give communal colour to a dispute between the trusts.”

Kapoor, who himself went to Pirana for ground reporting, said, “There is no dispute between Hindus and Muslims in Pirana. The dispute is related to the trustees of Imam Shah Trust.” He added there was a fence between Nishaklanki Narayan Mandir and Dargah on Imam Shah Baba Trust. There was a dispute between the two trusts to build a wall in place of the fence. After the Collector’s orders, the Hindu trustees started constructing the wall. Muslim trustees marched in protest of the construction.

Nasir alleged he was misinformed

In the new video uploaded by Kapoor, Nasir, a resident of Batwa, Ahmedabad, said, “When I visited Pirana Dargah, I saw people walking on the road in large numbers. Someone told me they were leaving the place, but the reality was different. They are not leaving Pirana but marching towards Collector’s office to submit a memorandum.”

He further added the matter between the Temple trust and Dargah trust was in court. Some people tried to give it a communal colour, but Hindus and Muslims of Pirana live peacefully. He said, “My videos went viral as well. I want to say when I came to know about the reality, I went to the Police Station and submitted my apology.

Nasir had alleged Muslims were leaving Pirana

Three videos of Nasir had gone viral on January 30. In the first video, he introduced himself and alleged Muslims were leaving Pirana. He said, “300-400 goons of RSS have entered in the village. The Muslims are being forced to leave the village. I request Muslims to send help as soon as possible. I urge media to reach Pirana at the earliest.”

In the second video, he said, “You can see Pirana is a Muslim village. RSS goons have forced Muslims to leave the village with the help of the Police. Everyone including elders, children and women are leaving the village.”

In the third video, he showed a large crowd marching on the road and raising slogans.

Though Nasir alleged he was not aware of the case, in another video, he was seen standing at the temple’s gate.

Nasir standing outside Temple gate. Source: Twitter.

Nasir was not the only one who alleged Muslims were leaving the village. Another video of one Naqeeb Sayed had gone viral on social media platforms in which he had alleged the same. He said, “A wall is being constructed on the Dargah in Pirana. It is a conspiracy to turn dargah into the temple. When we approached Police, they said they could not do anything as Collector had ordered to construct the wall. This is why all the Imams of Pirana have left their homes with families. We all have left our homes. I am requesting everyone to help us. We will not take the law into our hands. You can see behind me the whole community is on the road.”

What exactly happened in Pirana

The tension in Pirana, a village located 20 KM from Ahmedabad, erupted after the construction of a wall was commenced between Dargah and Temple. The Muslims living in the village have been opposing the construction of a concrete wall at the place of 13-year-old fencing.

The protest, whose videos went viral, was carried out by the Saiyed Muslim residents of the village. They had alleged the wall would cut off access to the dargah from the mosque and graveyard on the premises.

The wall’s construction had started after a resolution was passed by the Trust’s committee on January 25 by majority approval of eight out of eleven members. They had decided to construct the wall to replace the fencing as a part of the renovation work.

KB Patel, SDM Daskroi, told Indian Express, “There is a simple work of replacing the wired fence with a wall that is happening, with district collector’s permission…Three of the trustees had opposed the construction of the wall, but the work had majority permission of trustees, and from a safety point of view, the permission of Collector was also taken to proceed with the resolution passed.”

It is noteworthy the Police were deployed as in 2003 law and order issue had happened in the village. A senior officer of Aslali Police Station was quoted by IE saying, “There have been intermittent protests in the village for the past three-four months with Saiyeds opposing the renovation work on the dargah premises, but nothing untoward has happened… The protesters said they would go to the Collector’s office to give a representation, but there were some elements creating a nuisance by making videos and giving live updates.” The Police detailed 133 protesters, including 64 women, but no FIR was registered in the matter.

Sirajhussein Saiyed, one of the trustees who opposed the wall’s construction, had alleged the construction would change the nature of the shrine. He said, “With the wall, an attempt is being made to change the nature of the shrine. The premise includes a graveyard, a mosque, a dargah and a samadhi (tomb). Now, the wall is being erected around the dargah, which they (the eight trustees) want to stake claim over, and cut off our (Saiyed Muslims) access to the dargah from the masjid and graveyard.”

However, Harshad Patel, another trustee who supported the construction, called the allegations baseless. He said, “The work is being undertaken with the approval of majority trustees and with permission from the Collector. It is being done in accordance with the law and ensuring the security of people. All accusations by (three) other trustees are baseless.”

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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