In the aftermath of the communal clash that had broken out in Balisana village in Patan district in north Gujarat on the night of July 16, Muslim residents in the area are scared and live in constant fear of police action against them.
The communal clash had erupted over a series of provocative social media posts revolving around the controversial Hindi film, ‘The Kerala Story’, leaving eight persons injured. Two shops were ransacked and burnt down in the village.
This led Patan police to arrest 10 people, out of which, eight were Muslims. Both communities lodged two FIRs as per Patan police. As part of the investigation on Monday (July 17), the police took some of the accused to the Masjid Chowk area in Balisana where the incident had occurred. A video of this police exercise, called “reconstruction of the crime”, also went viral on social media platforms.
Mujahid Nafees, a minority rights activist based in Gujarat, told The Federal that noticeably only the Muslim men who were arrested were paraded around town by the local police. “Ten people were arrested but only the Muslim men were paraded by the local police. Thereafter, they brazenly raided the Muslim households the whole night picking up and detaining Muslim men. They kept asking if there were any Bangladeshi residents amongst them,” claimed Nafees.
Further, Nafees added they were “baffled” as to why the local police would search for Bangladeshi citizens out of the blue. “Muslims in Balisana are now scared as police is randomly picking men from houses,” added Nafees…