Tuesday, July 12, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Muslims boycott Dalits in Gujarat village


Muslims boycott Dalits in Gujarat village
Published: Tuesday, Jul 12, 2011, 3:25 IST
By Roxy Gagdekar | Place: Sanand (Gujarat) | Agency: DNA

Muslims of a village in Sanand taluka of Ahmedabad district have been
boycotting the backward communities in the village, most of whom
happen to be Hindu Dalits.

Muslims are in an overwhelming majority in Andej village, while the
backward Hindus are in a minority. The Muslim community began its
boycott of the backward communities on July 1 after a scuffle, in
which a Dalit Hindu was left with a fracture in the left hand.

The Dalit lodged a police complaint against the Muslims under the
Prevention of Atrocities Act.

After that a verbal fatwa was issued by the Muslim community warning
Muslim auto-drivers that they would be fined Rs2,000 if they ferried
any Dalit.

Andej has around 700 Muslim families, and 100-odd backward community
families, including Dalits belonging to Shenwa, Valmiki and Rohit

Since July 1, the backward communities are allegedly not allowed to
purchase anything from the market. They are also not allowed to use
the local transport system which is dominated by Muslim auto-drivers
from the village.

"We are not allowed to purchase anything from the local market,"
Shankar Shenwa said.

The scuffle that led to the atrocity case and the boycott took place
after Shankar's brother, Manu Shenwa, was accused of stealing stones
meant for construction being carried out by one Hussain Khokhar.

"Khokhar came to my house, asked me about the stones, and then started
beating me," Manu said. He said Khokhar, along with five other people,
had assaulted him and fractured his left hand.

Manu eventually filed a case, which led to the boycott.

Fatu Rehmu, sarpanch of Andej Gram Panchayat, was not available for
his comment but, her husband, who handles all the activities of the
panchayat, said it was true that the Muslim auto-drivers were
boycotting the backward communities. "But they are doing this because
they do not want any conflict between the two communities," he said.


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