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‘Your women will be raped, you’ll be killed’: Hindu family threatened by Muslim mob over land issue in Maharashtra’s Sangli, 9 booked and 2 arrested

The primary accused identified as Rafiq Mullah harassed the Hindu family, molested the Hindu women, and threatened to leave their house located near the Pakiza Masjid.

On Monday (25th March), a Hindu family staying in the city of Sangli in Maharashtra was brutally assaulted by a Muslim mob near the Pakiza Masjid over a land issue. The primary accused identified as Rafiq Mullah harassed the Hindu family, molested the Hindu women, and threatened to leave their house located near the Pakiza Masjid. The Police took cognizance of the event after the victim’s family filed a complaint against the accused claiming that they were constantly being harassed and brutally beaten by the Muslims.

The accused persons in this case have been identified as Rafi Mullah, Salim Mullah, Yasin Mullah, Sayed Mullah, Sameer Mullah, Sayida Mullah, Heena, and Sharmin Mullah. All these persons have been booked under sections 143, 147, 148, 307, 149, 337, 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code and sections 3(1)(r), 3(1)(s), 3(2)(va), 3(2)(5) of the SC/ST Act and section 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951.

Copy obtained by OpIndia

The FIR copy in this case has been obtained by OpIndia. As per the complaint, the attack is said to have happened on the Kudale family in the Sangli district of Maharashtra. The family stays on the ancestral Mahar basti land which is located near the Pakiza Masjid in Sangli. Most of the population living in the given area is Muslim and hence the accused Rafiq who stays in the neighborhood began harassing the Kudales to leave the land.

As per the complainant, Jagdish Kudale, Rafiq wanted him and his family to leave the area so that he could house other people from his community in the locality. “The accused and his family time and again used to harass my family. Rafiq used to tease women from our house and look at them often making them feel uncomfortable,” he said.

The complaint states that the accused had been living in the Mahar basti land claiming his ownership. Later it is believed that he expanded his territory to construct an illegal dry colony area on the land of the victim family. Despite several requests and complaints, the accused refused to demolish the dry area resulting in a minor altercation a couple of years ago.

Since then the accused and his family have been harassing the victim. The primary accused Rafiq used to tease the women of the Kudale family and also make them feel often uncomfortable. The accused had also once tried to burn down the business godown belonging to the victim’s family.

Fed of the harassment deliberately caused by Rafiq and his family, the complainant decided to build a compound wall to keep his family members safe from the accused. However, on 17th March, when the victim began the construction of the compound wall, the accused and his 30-40 Muslim associates launched a severe attack on the Hindu family. The Muslim mob used iron rods, sticks, and stones and attacked the Hindu family for building a compound wall.

The accused also threatened the complainant saying that he would be killed and all the women from his family would be raped. “We’ll rape your women, kill you all. You people don’t deserve to stay here in this locality. You people should just leave,” Rafiq was quoted as saying in the FIR. He then hit the iron rod on the head of one of the Kudale family members after which he had to be taken to the hospital immediately.

The other Muslim members who accompanied Rafiq meanwhile pelted stones at the Hindu family resulting in several severe injuries.

OpIndia contacted the complainant, Jagdish Kudale to know exactly what had been happening resulting in such a severe attack by the Muslim mob. While talking exclusively to OpIndia, Kudale informed that the Muslims in the locality don’t want them to stay in the locality. “This looks like a dispute between two families but it is a dispute between two communities. Whatever happened on 17th March was just another case of mob lynching. Me and my family have been deliberately harassed for being Hindus and staying in the locality near Pakiza Masjid,” Kudale said.

On asking about the land dispute, he said that he and his family have been staying on their ancestral land and that Rafiq and his family later incorporated the land and began staying there. “Our ancestors must have sold some part of the land for money but now we are suffering because of that. Rafiq attempted to expand the property illegally to harass us. Despite several requests and complaints, he refused to stop. Later we only decided to get a compound wall built for the safety of our family,” he added.

As per the information obtained by OpIndia, two of the accused persons out of 9 have been arrested by the police while the other seven are absconding. Efforts are being made by the Police to locate the other accused leading to arrest.

The local Hindu community of Sangli also rushed to help the victim in this case. According to Nitin Shinde, one of the Hindu activists, the Muslims in the locality threatened the Hindu family to leave the locality. “They abused the women, threatened the men that they would be killed. This is absolutely intolerable,” Shinde said. He urged the Police to take strict action against all the accused persons. He also urged the lawyers of the Hindu community to avoid taking the case of Rafiq Mullah for the betterment of the Hindu community.

Sangli Police in the given case were contacted for a comment but the officers denied to provide any information given the sensitivity of the case. However, the police confirmed that a couple of arrests have been made in the case and that the other accused persons will soon be arrested.

Further investigations into the case are underway.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Siddhi Somani
Siddhi Somani
Siddhi Somani is known for her satirical and factual hand in Economic, Social and Political writing. Having completed her post graduation in Journalism, she is pursuing her Masters in Politics. The author meanwhile is also exploring her hand in analytics and statistics. (Twitter- @sidis28)

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