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Vadodara: Muslim mob pelt stones on Hindus for seeking action against a Muslim Instagram user over comments hurting religious feelings of a Hindu businessman

A Hindu youth who was present at the scene said that there was a strong indication that the attack was pre-planned.

On Friday, February 22, an incident of stone pelting was reported in Gujarat’s Vadodara. A Muslim mob of 100 to 200 allegedly attacked a group of Hindu youths who went to file a complaint at the Navapura Police Station against a Muslim youth for making abusive and hateful remarks against a Hindu businessman during his Instagram Live. The Navapura Police arrested the Muslim youth as well as 10 involved in the stone pelting incident after it filed 2 FIRs in the case.

In what transpired, Jatin Patel, who runs a mobile accessories shop went live on Instagram on 21st February at 7.23 pm and greeted his customers with Jai Shri Ram. He often goes live to announce the offers for his customers. While Patel was announcing the offers, a person with an Instagram ID, sahid-patel-7070, took to the comment section to pass some offensive remarks against the Hindu religion.

Offended by his remark, which Patel saw as an assault on his religious beliefs, he attempted to extract some information about the Instagram user. After some research, he learned that the person in question was Sahid Patel, residing in the Gujarat Housing Board Society, opposite the Mahalakshmi Society in the Padra area of the city. When Patel contacted him, instead of showing remorse, Sahid started threatening him over the call.

Jatin Patel then, along with some Hindu Sangathan activists, approached the Navapura Police Station to lodge a complaint against the Instagram user.

When other members of some Hindu outfits learnt about the issue they too gathered at the Navapura Police station. They demanded strict action against the youth who insulted and threatened the businessman. Chanting Jai Shri Ram slogans, they insisted that Sahid Patel should be brought to the police station, or they would not leave the place. 

When these people were standing outside the police station, suddenly a Muslim mob of 100-150 rushed towards them from Khatkiwad and started pelting stones and glass bottles at the Hindus.

A Hindu youth was hurt in this stone-pelting incident, and two or three other people also sustained minor injuries. The Hindus started running here and there to save themselves from the volley of stones being showed upon them. This resulted in a stampede-like situation and the police had to resort to lathi charge to disperse the crowd. The injured were rushed to the nearby hospital.

The police later filed two FIRs based on the complaint of the victims. The first was filed against the Instagram user and the second against the Muslim mob that indulged in stone pelting outside the Navapura PS. The FIR against the Muslim mob was filed under sections 143, 147, 149 and 337 of the IPC and section 135 of the Gujarat Police Act. Copies of both the FIRs are available with OpIndia.

To delve into the case further, OpIndia spoke to one of Jatin Patel’s friends, who said that they had gathered at the police station and were demonstrating peacefully by chanting Jai Shri Ram chants and Hanuman Chalisa when a mob suddenly rushed from behind a nearby mosque and launched an attack on them. The mob pelted large stones and glass bottles at the Hindus, he said. He also expressed apprehension that the assault was orchestrated.

The Hindu man went on to say that there was a strong indication that the attack was pre-planned otherwise how was it possible that there were so many people present there that too with such a large supply of stones and glass bottles? “There is no construction going on in the vicinity, then from where did the mob manage to procure such large quantities of stones, bricks and metal blocks,” he wondered.

Not a single stone pelted from the Hindu side

A Hindu youth who was present at the scene has refuted claims made by several media outlets, who to defend the Islamist mob, claimed that stones were thrown from both sides. The youth confirmed that the Hindus did not even throw a single stone at the Muslim mob. In fact, the Muslim mob showered stones and glass bottles on the Hindus which resulted in a stampede. Eventually, the cops had to lathi charge to bring the situation under control.

Accused arrested, investigation underway

Vadodara DCP Abhay Soni told Opindia that the youth who commented on the matter on Instagram has been arrested, while 10 have been arrested in the stone pelting case. According to Divya Bhaskar’s report, the arrested accused have been identified as Moin, Mohammad Saqlen, Md. Sahib, Wali Mohammad, Buxar Ali, Hasan Khan, Hussain Khan and Sahid Patel.

Regarding the allegations of pre-planned conspiracy, he said that the police are currently investigating in that direction as well and further action will be taken after the investigation.

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Meghalsinh Parmar
Meghalsinh Parmar
A Journalist. Deputy Editor- OpIndia Gujarati. Not an author but love to write.

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