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A Parking dispute during a cricket match in Anand’s Chikhodra given communal colour by Leftist media, Police dismisses leftist claims as false

The altercation regarding the parking of a bike soon turned violent in which a 23-year-old youth lost his life. Following the incident, Police arrested 9 accused, presented them before the court, and got their remand.

A few days ago a cricket tournament was organised in the Chikhodara area of Anand, Gujarat. While the cricket match was going on in the late evening, an altercation broke out between some people over a parking dispute. The altercation regarding the parking of a bike soon turned violent in which a 23-year-old youth lost his life. Following the incident, Police arrested 9 accused, presented them before the court, and got their remand. However, left-wing portals including The Wire, Quint, Maktoob Media, and The Kashmiriyat gave a communal angle to the whole incident and tried to spread animosity between the two communities. 

Notably, the incident took place on 22nd June 2024. The deceased was identified as Salman Whora. He arrived there to watch the cricket tournament which was being played at Chikhodara, late in the evening. 

Meanwhile, a person named Imroz Abdul Rahim got into an argument with the accused. Soon, the argument over the issue of bike parking turned into a fistfight. During this time, the deceased Salman Muhammad Hanif Whora intervened to defend Imroz. It is alleged that the accused assaulted them with a bat and other sharp weapons. Afterward, both of them were shifted to a hospital for treatment. However, 23-year-old Salman died during treatment.

Based on Imroz’s complaint, the police have so far arrested 9 people – 7 accused were initially arrested and 2 were later – and 2 accused are said to be absconding. The Police are carrying out a search operation to nab them. After their demand was over, the police produced them again before the court.

In this matter, the Police have registered a case against the accused under Sections 143, 147, 148, 149, 302, 324, 323, 504, and 506(2) of the IPC and Section 135 of the Gujarat Police Act.

Leftist media gives the parking dispute incident a communal colour

However, in its reportage, leftist media including The Wire, The Quint, Maktoob Media, The Kashmiriyat, and some other portals tried to paint this whole incident in a communal colour. They alleged that Hindutva supporters were angry at Muslims who were playing well and they killed a Muslim man. They further alleged that Hindus gathered in the crowd and were chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans during the match. They went further to allege that at the time of the incident, Hindus in the crowd were inciting the killers. 

(Snippet of the leftist media reports on this incident, giving it a communal colour)

Media claim completely wrong: DySP Panchal

OpIndia tried to find out the truth about the entire incident and first contacted Anand district DySP Jayesh Panchal. During the conversation, OpIndia asked the Deputy SP about the claims being made in the media reports. 

Responding to the query, he said, “The kind of communal angle that the media is talking about is completely wrong. Police are continuously investigating after the incident. We have interrogated the arrested accused, they also did not say any such thing, the statements of the people present in the field during the incident have also been taken. Even the eyewitnesses have not recorded anything like this in the statement.”

During the conversation, he further stated, “Not only this, the person who is the complainant in the incident has also not mentioned any such incident in his complaint.” 

When OpIndia asked him about the slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” and the claims about the Hindu crowd during the cricket match, he outrightly denied it. 

He said, “In the investigation so far, no incident of this kind has come to our notice, either in the statement of the complainant, the witness, or the accused. ” 

He noted that there was a clash over a motorcycle and added that the claims made in the media were false.

The incident does not have a communal angle: a local Muslim leader

After the conversation with the DySP, OpIndia spoke to Ismailbhai, a local Muslim leader. He told OpIndia, “The slogans raised during the match have nothing to do with the murder. There is no communal angle in this whole incident. What has happened is very wrong. The deceased was recently married. The assailants hit him in the kidney and seriously injured him. All we want is that those who are responsible should be severely punished.” 

When OpIndia asked him about the religious angle in the murder, he said, “Look, the incident is very bad and serious. But let’s not be wrong, there is no communal element in this. The angle does not appear.”

After speaking to Ismailbhai, OpIndia spoke to another local. On condition of anonymity, he said, “People from both parties were present on the ground at the time of the incident. Cricket matches are always held here, but nothing like this has ever happened. People who are saying this is a matter between two communities are totally wrong. Everyone lives in harmony here. The whole tussle was about the parking of a bike. The police have arrested the accused and the matter is now in court. Hope the court will do justice and punish the accused severely.”

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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