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‘You support BJP despite being a Muslim’: BJP worker in Mumbai’s Malvani assaulted by Nadir Mandap, believed to be a close aide of Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh

Zahur Jalal Khan, a BJP worker, wrote a letter to senior BJP leader Piyush Goyal, stating that he and his family members were intimidated and assaulted by members of Nadir's family on May 21, a day after phase 5 of the general elections, when Mumbai had gone for polling, for campaigning for the saffron party.

Mumbai’s Malwani neighbourhood, which had gained notoriety for its declining law and order, is once again in the news after a BJP worker was allegedly assaulted by a gang led by one Salman Nadir Sheikh aka Nadir Mandap for his support for the saffron party. In a complaint filed by the BJP worker, identified as Zahur Jalal Khan, Mandap and his gang assaulted him for ‘supporting the BJP despite being a Muslim’.

Khan wrote a letter to senior BJP leader Piyush Goyal and recounted his ordeal. In his letter, Khan stated that his family members, which include his wife and son, were intimidated and assaulted by members of Nadir’s family on May 21, a day after phase 5 of the general elections, when Mumbai had gone for polling. 

When he confronted Nadir, Khan mentioned that Nadir and his family members assaulted him. “I was dragged by Nadir and other members of his family to my home, where they abused me, my wife, and my son, and assaulted them.”

“You support BJP and promote them in a Muslim area despite being a Muslim,” Khan said in the letter detailing the assault he allegedly faced from Nadir Mandap and his family.

Khan has additionally claimed that Nadim Mandap operates a gang in the area, engaging in threatening and assaulting individuals.

BJP Mumbai Social Media and IT Election Management Committee co-convenor Krunal Goda took to X, formerly Twitter, to share information about the matter. Goda has stated that Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has taken cognisance of the matter and an FIR has been filed in the case. Pictures shared by Gowda show bandages wrapped on the injuries suffered by the victims in the alleged attack. 

OpIndia called Malwani Police Station to seek details about the case. However, the police refused to share information and evaded answering the questions. 

The BJP functionary has also stated that Devendra Fadnavis has guided local leaders to visit and reassure the BJP worker and asked the Mumbai Police to not just conduct an investigation into the matter but also initiate strict action against the culprits.

3 of the 9 culprits have already been arrested, Goda informed in a new tweet, adding that police are on the hunt for the main accused.

Nadir Mandap’s proximity to Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh who signed a mercy petition for 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon

It is notable to mention that Nadir Mandap is reportedly a close aide of Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh, who had helped Nadir get special permission to use MHADA ground despite the government agency’s objection. 

Congress MLA from Maharashtra, Aslam Shaikh, was under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Environment Ministry in July 2022 for illegally operating film studios in Madh Island.

Shaikh, a legislator from Malad West constituency, had served as the Textile, Fisheries Department & Ports Development Minister during the reign of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

He was accused of flouting Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules and permitting the unauthorised construction of more than 2 dozen film studios on Madh Island. The Enforcement Directorate took up the matter after complaints were received by Environment and Forest Ministries.

Notably, Aslam Shaikh along with other colleagues wrote a letter in 2015 to then President of India Pranab Mukherjee, seeking clemency for convicted terrorist Yakub Memon. This was even though Memon was convicted over his involvement in the infamous 1993 bomb blast in Mumbai.

Encroachment, Hindu exodus, drug hub, and the pervading menace of Islamists: What’s ailing Mumbai’s Malvani

The entire episode, nevertheless, has once again brought to the fore the central issue plaguing Malwani for years. The region had gained infamy for the communal conflagration that routinely surfaces and creates law and order problems for the residents. In March 2021, the issue of Hindu exodus from Malwani, a predominantly Muslim majority neighbourhood, was raised by BJP leader Mangal Prabhat Lodha in the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha. 

Lodha’s comments followed his visit to Malwani in January 2021, when Hindu residents in the neighbourhood complained to him of persistent harassment by the Muslim ruffians to leave the region. Lodha had then filed a complaint with the local police and asked them to act against the hoodlums threatening the Hindu population. 

The residents claimed that the goons enjoyed political patronage from the local Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh, also a cabinet minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Allegedly, emboldened by their leader’s support, the Muslim hooligans unabatedly encroached on their lands and built madrassas and dargahs on government lands, the victims claimed.

Besides appropriating their houses, the victims alleged that the Muslim goons were also responsible for rampant drug peddling, unauthorised constructions and other illegal activities in their neighbourhood.

In January 2021, the region hit the headlines after the arrest of three VHP leaders for putting up posters of Ram Mandir Nidhi Sankalan Abhiyan, a mass contact and contribution campaign for the construction of a Bhavya & Divya mandir at the birthplace of Bhagwan Shri Ramlalla in Ayodhya and then, filming while personnel of Mumbai police allegedly tore posters of Lord Shri Ram.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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