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Sell or face consequences: Hindu residents threatened by Muslim mob to sell their flats in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, govt denies

Reports suggest that a few days back, a 100-150 people strong Muslim mob had descended upon Satvik society in Bhavnagar and threatened residents of about 15 flats to sell and leave their flats or face dire consequences

Around 15 flat owners residing in Satvik housing Complex in Bhavnagar’s Mokhadji circle area have been threatened to sell their houses. As per reports, last week, a mob of 100-150 Muslim men entered the society and threatened the residents by selectively targeting some flat owners by enticing and forcing them to sell their flats.

The residents of Satvik Complex in front of Rajaram Aveda have alleged that a mob of 100-150 Muslim men arrived at night to threaten them to sell their flats or face the consequences for not budging. The mob allegedly threatened the residents that they know everything about the occupations of each of them and they will have to pay the price if they are not ready to sell their houses. As reported by DeshGujarat, the mob has given an ultimatum to the residents to get convinced for selling their flats, or else be ready to face dire consequences.

According to some, a residential scheme in the vicinity which is under construction has taken bookings from only Muslim owners. Approval for the scheme is subject to the relocation of these residents. Some residents have alleged the role of local BJP leader trying to mediate between the owners to sell their flats. Reportedly, he has told some residents that this is an ideal deal and that they will never get such high prices for the flats which are being offered to them. He has told the residents that life will become more difficult after Muslims start living in the residential scheme next to the society, the construction of which is underway.

Under repeated threats, it has become difficult for the flat owners in the Satvik complex to live in peace. Some organisations have also demanded the authorities to enforce the Unrest act to maintain communal harmony in the city.

Disturbed Areas Act in Bhavnagar

A report by Divya Bhaskar suggests that in a bid to maintain communal harmony and peace in Bhavnagar, a proposal was made to notify certain areas under the Disturbed Areas Act. However, the local residents allege that the file for the same has been stuck because of inaction by local BJP MLA.

A file has been sent off to the District Collector long back along with the suggestions and remarks by the MLAs. However, the MLAs have not yet forwarded the file further to higher authorities, locals allege as per the report.

OpIndia had earlier extensively reported on the Disturbed Areas Act and how some residents in some Hindu dominated areas have been forced to leave because of demography change that had threatened them.

What is Disturbed Areas Act

Disturbed Areas Act was implemented in a bid to maintain communal harmony and peace and to prevent polarisation of communities due to demography change. As per the Act, for an area notified under the Disturbed Areas Act, transfer of immovable property will require an elaborate procedure and approval of neighbours as well to make sure that they do not feel unsafe or threatened.

Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Property and Provisions of Tenants from Eviction from Premises in Disturbed Areas Act, 1991, or Disturbed Areas Act as it is popularly known as was passed in the Gujarat state assembly in 2019 and the President of India gave his assent in October 2020. The Act was initially introduced in Ahmedabad in 1986 after the communal riots under the Congress-ruled Madhavsinh Solanki government. There was large-scale distress sale of immovable properties in parts of the city.

Disturbed Areas Act is implemented in a particular police station area. The District Collector calls upon the Police Commissioner to inquire about communal harmony and if there are any complaints of polarization of communities. The Police Commissioner then will inquire about the same to all police stations under his jurisdiction. Upon receiving information, he notifies the District Collector, who will then declare a particular area (area under particular police station’s jurisdiction) as a Disturbed Area for a period of five years which can later be renewed.

Update: Gujarat home minister Harsh Sanghvi has denied any such incident taking place. The minister has stated that the claims of a Muslim mob asking Hindus to leave the area are false and no such incident has taken place.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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