New Delhi/Vadodara: “’Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’ echoed in our vicinity as our dargahs and mosques were being attacked, our sons being beaten,” said Feroz, a local from Vadodara’s Fatepura.
On March 30, Ram Navami day, like several other parts of the country, Vadodara was also embroiled in hate as tensions escalated at Panjrigar mohalla around 1 pm – right around the time of afternoon prayers for Muslims – when a Ram Navami procession lead by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) was passing by the area. This religious procession that happens every year took a different route this year to be able to pass both a mosque and a dargah on its way.
According to locals and the videos they shared with The Wire, revellers in VHP’s Shobha Yatra vandalised the Dhuldoyawad Masjid and Hazrat Kalu Shahid Dargah in the area. While the city police were able to deploy forces in time, vandalism and violence triggered tensions as multiple processions made their way through the old city area.
On March 31, in the evening, Madinabibi had laid out her dastarkhwan awaiting iftar with her family, like every other day. Minutes before the announcement for iftar a loud thud broke the iron gate of their home in Fatehpura. Police entered their home and took away seven members of her family, accusing them of rioting and pelting stones at the Yatra.
“They dragged my sons, my daughters-in-law, and my daughter out of our house. They emptied my home during iftar. I shouted, I begged and shrieked only to be met by their deafness,” said Madinabibi, a local from the Kumbharwada-Hathikhana area of the walled city.
FIR names 45 Muslims as accused, others counted as ‘mob’
On April 3, in a press release, the Vadodara Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) announced the arrest of 12 more persons for rioting and stone-pelting, after the initial arrest of 23 persons from the Hathikhana-Kumbharwada area. The DCB said that the 12 persons were arrested after being identified through CCTV footage, which also included a man who was seen wielding a sword…
This story was originally published in thewire.in. Read the full story here