Communal tension forces Maharashtra town to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr under curfew

By Staff Reporter,

Washim (Maharashtra): The continued communal tension at Karanja town in Washim district of Maharashtra that had ignited under the pretext of ‘Love Jihad’ forced Muslims to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr at home as the curfew orders in the area continued for 6 straight days.

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Karanja came under communal tension on July 13 following the marriage of a youth from minority community with a girl from another community that resulted into death of a youth belonging to minority community, injuries to many others and damages to public property.

Washim (Maharashtra)

Police had imposed curfew orders in the town on July 14 due to escalated tension as the injured youth had succumbed to death. Ever since then curfew orders continues in the town and the usually daily lives of people has been badly affected.

Saturday, on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, police had relaxed curfew from 7.00 am to 11.00 am but the Eidgah (a place to offer special prayer for all the Muslims in town) saw very little public and instead most people preferred to offer prayer at nearby Masjid. The curfew was again enforced to be lift up in the evening for a very brief period.

So far police have rounded up 90 men from both the communities and have even produced them before court in Washim.

There have been appeals making rounds over social media to provide help by sending food packets, vegetables and fruits to the nearby Masjids in the neighbouring villages that may be carried by the community elders to the affected people of the town.

“We are asking people to support affected people through daily needs that we are collecting at mosque which will be carried to the town by Jamiat functionary”, said imam of a Masjid in Yavatmal.

There is a report of visit to the town by Washim-Yavatmal constituency elected Shiv Sena MP Bhavna Gawli but the minority community has expressed dissatisfaction over her manner of speaking with them while the town continues to boil under communal tension.

“When we requested her to make proper arrangements for Eid so that we can celebrate Eid, her response was very disappointing as she blamed us for the tension in the town. She said if you are relaxed you did all this to the town. This is not good for an MP to do this. She should know that it is Muslims who have suffered maximum in the tension and even a Muslim youth lost his life that when another youth and girl legally married,” said Naim Baig, a local from the affected town.

After Gawli’s visit, minority community in the area is under threat and is apprehensive of one sided action by police.

Shaikh Shoeb, a shopkeeper said, “I do not understand why only such incidences are growing in this particular constituency. Pusad has seen many communal violence incidences. Digras too witnessed few of such incidences in last 6-7 years. Now it is Karanja. There is no doubt that our MP is biased and prefers one community over other that actually boosts communal forces in creating such havoc.”

Washim (Maharashtra)

Meanwhile, the families of murdered youth are making rounds of lawyers in Washim and Akola and are seeking legal help to properly monitor investigation by police and no original accused are left shielded by authorities.

A separate FIR has been registered by police under sections of 302, 34 and some other relevant sections of IPC for the murder of youth on July 13. As per local sources 2 men have been arrested in the case whereas 4 continue to remain absconding and out of reach of police.

In a similar incident of communal tension last year at a town Pusad in Yavatmal district , Muslims could not celebrate Eid and were forced to remain at home. Incidentally, this town is merely 80KMs from Karanja and comes under the same constituency from where Shiv Sena MP Bhavna Gawli has been elected since last 3 terms.

MIM MLA Jalil writes to Chief Minister

MIM MLA Imtiyaz Jaleel has asked chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to control the growing threat of communal violence by initiating prompt action.

According to Times of India, Jaleel in a letter to the CM said, “In the last few days there seems to be a deliberate attempt by some forces to create communal tension and vitiate the peaceful atmosphere. If you peruse the few incidents that have taken place in the state recently it clearly indicates that an attempt is being made to create communal tension by creating a rift between two communities. Small instances or issues that could otherwise have been easily resolved are being given a communal colour leading to riot-like situations whether in Pune, Washim or Nashik.”

“The incident in Pune’s Parvati area a few days back is a clear example of how a minor tiff between two groups about a motorcycle headlight escalated into a situation of riot within a few minutes. The Pune police could have handled the issue had it acted with the toughness equired,” he said.

“Moreover, the Pune police’s role comes under the scanner when it allowed a ‘Maha aarti’ by some Sena leaders the very next day after the area was still under curfew-like condition. By allowing such incidents, it clearly indicates that the police did not act responsibly. Somebody from the police department has to be held accountable for this lapse else it will send a wrong message that the men in uniform buckled under political pressure,” Jaleel alleged.

“The communal tension in Karanja in Washim this week where a Muslim boy has been killed are all indicators that show the minority community was targeted with an aim of creating tension and riots,” he said.

Jalil urged the CM to instruct the top police authority to study this disturbing pattern, draw a conclusion and suggest remedial measures.


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