Vadavali, Gujarat : On 25th March a large mob of 5,000 Hindu men attacked Vagjipara, Vadavali, a village in Patan district of North Gujarat and burnt down about 80-100 homes of Muslim families, ransacked and gutted, three shops and 10-12 vehicles. Two Muslim men died and another 25 men were injured on that day.
It all began with a scuffle between two school students, The Nutan Vidyalaya high school was the examination centre for students of several neighbouring villages. The Muslim boy was from Takodi village and the Thakor boy was from Sunser village.
When the fight escalated, elders from Vadavali intervened and urged them to not fight. About half an hour later, a group of Thakors from Sunser village reached the spot, followed by another 200 to 250 people who threatened the Muslims of Vadavali. They left after roughing up some of the elders. But around 2 pm, a larger mob showed up. Hussainbhai claims it was 5,000 people strong and had people from four villages – Dharpur, Sunser, Rampur and Merwada – that are more than ten kilometres apart.
After 15 days, a Mumbai based fact finding team visited Vadavali to find the ground report which is missing from mainstream Media, Vinod Chand and Advocate S S Sayyed describe the aftermath as ‘The Laboratory of Hindutva’ in which poor unarmed Muslims were oppressed beyond any words for condemnation.
On his Facebook Post he wrote :-
“Today is 10th April, a good 15 days after a mob of Hindus attacked an unarmed village in broad daylight between 1:30 noon till 4.00 p.m. under the protection of local police and systematically looted and burnt the houses belonging to Muslims. In the mayhem that followed, property worth Crores was destroyed, household goods vandalized, cash and jewelry looted. Even goats were not spared; they were taken away by the murderous mob that came armed with pistols and swords.
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Out of the 150 houses that we surveyed, more than 100 had been completely looted and burnt to the ground. 50 barely survived the carnage because of arrival of State Reserve Police that made the mob run away from the scene.
The entire incident was sparked by a tiff between two students at a school. One of the boys from a neighboring village was throwing stones into a beehive and a local boy from the village that happened to be Muslim told him not to do so, when the Hindu boy persisted, they got into a fist fight.
Within hours a mob of 5000 to 8000 people arrived at the village from Sunsar, Dharampuri and some other nearby villages. They were carrying weapons including swords, pistols and corrosive chemicals. Such was the size of the mob that the police advised the local women to run away and hide. Even the men and boys who were present in the village hid from the fury of the mob.
The mob then systematically went around looting houses and burning them to the ground. They took away all the cash and jewelry by forcing open cupboards using crowbars and then burning everything in the house. Vandalized television sets, refrigerators, doors, vehicles, cars and motorcycles litter the Muslim part of the village.
The local Hindu villagers tried their level best to protect the Muslims but the mob would have nothing to do with it. The inaction of the local police and the policemen that were accompanying the mob led to large scale arson and destruction of property.
Gujarat is BJP/RSS Hindutva Laboratory. Ever since BJP has come to power, it has used religion and fake nationalism to divide the country on communal and religious lines. The 2002 riots that followed the Godhra incident are still fresh in the minds of the citizens of the state and the country.
BJP has now shifted focus on smaller villages where there are Muslims in a larger concentration.
This planned attack on the village, where thousands were mobilized within hours of the triggering incident indicates that the BJP/RSS/Hindutva forces are planning a coordinated attack on the Muslims that live peacefully in Gujarat.
They want to achieve complete ethnic cleansing.
In our meeting with the people of the Muslim community in Vadavali, they told us that there was no enmity among the Hindus and Muslims of Vadavali and in fact their village had selected a Muslim lady to head their Local Self Government (Panchayat) for half the 5 year term. The second half would then be headed by a Hindu who was yet to be selected. Most of the Muslim population is engaged in labor for Patels. Only a few are into farming, nobody owns any land. Some Muslims have come and settled in this village because they were forced to leave their original villages as they had become miniscule minority in a Hindu dominated village.
Jamiyat-e-Ulema-e-Hind is running a relief camp in the village. They have also made funds available for reconstruction of the burnt down houses. The Jamat has also promised to provide white goods and utensils once the village is rebuilt. Most of the affected people were living in houses built under the Indira Awas Yojana and some of the houses were just 1 to 2 year old.
Almost all important documents of the affected people have got burnt along with their houses. The collector of Patan came on a visit to this village, about 30 Kilometers from his office after 7 days. No political leader, from any party, BJP or Congress has visited the affected people. There has been no government initiative to rehabilitate those affected by this one sided attack of a murderous mob.
One of the victims has been shot 19 times in his penis. The doctors have been able to remove shards of bullets from his penis which remains in a bandage.
Fortunately there was little loss of life as most of the men from the village were on an annual pilgrimage to Haji Peer for an urs. But even the death of a single person is a great loss, especially to the affected family.
Many people have been arrested but no property has been recovered till date. Some five victims are undergoing treatment at Vadilal Hospital in Ahmadabad at their own expenses and are in need for help.
The government has not announced any ex-gratia payment to any of the affected.
In fact these Muslims are the new orphans in India. They are only wooed for their votes and are expected to vote for the so called ‘secular’ parties. But these secular parties also do not want to be identified with these Muslims so as not to upset the majority Hindu vote bank.”
(This article is based on first hand reports by Vinod Chand and Advocate S S Sayyed—
Vinod Chand has initiated a Non-Profit Organisation on Facebook to fight for Democratic Rights of Citizens of the Country, the organisation IAD ( India for Actualization of Democracy) will remain a non-political organization but will have a political wing, where one is the think-tank and the other the political wing. )