New Delhi: Violating prohibitory orders, hundreds of people gathered in Gurugram’s Sector 57 on Sunday at a ‘Hindu mahapanchayat’ and announced a social and economic boycott of Muslims. This was the area where a mosque was attacked and a deputy imam murdered by a Hindutva mob during communal violence last week.
The event was held in Tigra village, which is close to the Anjuman Masjid.
Those attending the meeting also alleged that people who have been accused of attacking the mosque are “innocent”, Hindustan Times reported, and demanded that there names be dropped from the case within seven days. Otherwise they have threatened a chakka-jam.
Sube Singh Bohra, former sarpanch of Wazirabad in Sector 57, said, according to Hindustan Times, “We need to see the evidence against the men that have been arrested for the violence. The families are being harassed and targeted by those living near the mosque, but we will not let this happen anymore.”
“There are hundreds of Muslim men working in Gurugram as carpenters, barbers, vegetable vendors, mechanics, and cab drivers, and we have always supported them, but now we will ensure they don’t get any support from anywhere as they are responsible for disrupting peace in the city. Muslims should not be allowed to love or work in the city. We appeal to the people of the city not to rent out apartments or slums to them,” Kulbhushan Bhardwaj, a Bajrang Dal member, said.
DLF Gurugram senior police officer Vikas Kaushik told ANI that the organisers had told the police the event would be peaceful. “For the past two-three days, Gurugram has been peaceful. No incident has been reported. We feel that today’s panchayat will be carried out peacefully. We have had talks with all sides. They have assured us that the panchayat will happen peacefully… The panchayat starts at 9 am. Some 500-1,000 people are expected to come,” Kaushik said.
However, he did not say why police was not intervening despite prohibitory orders being in place.
The Communist Party of India flagged this boycott call on Sunday, referring to a letter that made the same demand written by a panchayat sarpanch on his official letterhead. A four-member delegation from the party also visited affected areas on Sunday.
“This letter on the letterhead of the Jainabad Panchayat Sarpanch Bhavna Yadav, from Block Dahina, District Rewari, Haryana, exposes the bitter reality of organised discrimination against minorities which is being bred systematically under the BJP rule,” CPI said in a statement, according to The Telegraph.
“The content of the letter is shocking. It submits to the local police authorities a decision to not allow Muslims or miscreants to do any business or hawker activity in the panchayat area. It also equalises Muslims to burglars and cattle-thieves,” the statement added.
“The letter says that these steps are being taken to ensure peace in the village, automatically making Muslim presence the sole reason for communal disturbance.”