Muslim Professionals Sense ‘Era of Terror’ in Gujarat

Abdul Hafiz Lakhani for BeyondHeadlines

Muslim professionals in Gujarat sense that the ‘era of terror’ is impending, as tainted cops and seriously accused top police officers are being taken back to jobs by the state government. They fear the vibrant Gujarat would turn violent Gujarat.

Addressing a press conference in Ahmedabad on Thursday (Oct., 2), Muslim professionals including ‘Tarkash’ Editor Kaleem Siddiqui and Advocate Shamshad Pathan expressed that they sense of an ‘Era of Terror’ coming back to Gujarat.

“Are we re-entering into the era of terror?” they fear. A few of the questions they posed were: “Whether things are going out of control by Chief Minister Anandiben Patel? Why VHP is being given free hand and why is it that Gujarat police has started sheer discrimination against Muslims and turning a blind eye towards their pleas?”

These professional have put forwarded many more questions, doubts, allegations and observations with specific cases in front of the media at the press conference. They focused their talk on “Religious Hatred and Discrimination against Minorities”.

They also briefed about a few cases and explained that the law and order situation in Gujarat was fast going back to the days of fear and scare for the minorities specially the Muslims. In addition, serious allegations and grievances of discrimination echoed at the press meet.

While addressing the press, Mr. Siddiqui said that the ‘era of terror’ was round the corner with tainted cops resuming their jobs which give a clear message that ‘there is government patronage for you (the cops)’.

“Of late we are witnessing a silent terror like atmosphere in the air of Gujarat especially in Ahmedabad and Vadodara where a kind of ‘Vanzara era’ of 2003-4-5 is glaring into the eyes of Muslims,” he added.

“On 30th August 2014 at 8 PM during a show on Zee News, Mahamandleshwer Naval Kishor Das made a hateful speech against holy Quran and Islam. When I went to Bapu Nagar police station to register an FIR against Mahamandleshwer Naval Kishordas & Sudhir Chowdhari (editor – Zee News) it was not accepted.

“Another instance of a Jain RTI activist Roshan Shah was booked for sharing photos but Zee News and Naval Kishor are not booked, which law is this.”

Similarly, Siddiqui pointed out that one Viral Desai who is an activist of VHP (Bharuch) – has been hurting the feelings of Muslims but no action has been taken against him while a tea vendor Zakir Hussain Shaikh a tea vendor in Juhapura area was grilled by ATS and Crime Branch.

Siddiqui pointed out that before elections the then Chief Minister and now the PM Narendra Modi had tried to pose Muslims rolling in money with Rs 700 crore kite business whereas it is not the truth. He said a common man can also see the plight of people living in Jamalpur and in such areas people make kites for 2, 3 rupees. If they are so well off why their life style doesn’t change. Go and see the plight of Muslim areas of Gujarat, he inquired.

Adv. Pathan observed that “Of late Muslims were being deprived of their basic rights – police was refusing to take their FIRs. In fact there were cases wherein those who went to lodge a complaint were humiliated, chased with lathis or even detained illegally.”

The trio specifically noted that there is a rise in fear among Muslims in Ahmedabad and Vadodara. They said PM Modi’s silence over the police discrimination against Muslims in Gujarat was also very painful. Mr. Siddiqui said during his time as Chief Minister, Mr. Modi could at least control VHP like fundamentalist elements that are now surging with evil designs.

Mr. Lakhani welcomed welcome recent statement of PM Narendra Modi regarding Muslims. He said: “I am very glad if he has had the change of heart. But, he must put it in action and visit the 2002 riot affected areas of Gulmarg society and Naroda Patia and nab the real culprits and give justice to the victims’ families.”

Lakhani added that PM promised us that ‘achhe din’ aane wale hai. But, for Muslims here in Gujarat is it not correct that “ache din chale gaye’? He questioned further making a point that slowly the terror and violence against Muslims who are already so backward and financially so poor in Gujarat it looks the much acclaimed ‘Vibrant Gujarat is turning out to be ‘Violent Gujarat’?

When asked about the forthcoming Bakrid, Siddiqui and Lakhani stated that: “Why does the government not arrange an open market for the Muslims and help them buy animals at fair prices, why cows birth and complete records not maintained.”

They feared that it is actually a big business of the VHP which hand in gloves with the bootleggers handling the slaughtering issue and made it a business for money and also to terrorize Muslims and spread the religious hatred against Muslims. All this is taking place in the new ambience of police discrimination, they allege.

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