Skip to main content

Gujarat declares communal torn Vadodara "disturbed", bans sale of real estate property between communities

By Our Representative
Vadodara, the cultural capital of India, is now a "disturbed area" for another five years. The Gujarat government move declaring it a "disturbed area" comes following communal clashes, which began last week and continued unabated for five days. The communal clashes were preceded by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) distributing "Love Jihad" leaflets in Vadodara which warned Hindu parents to ensure that their daughters do not fall in the trap on "well-dressed Muslim boys." The clashes have seen several stabbings, and large-scale loot and arson incidents, in "sensitive areas". Women's organisations have accused plainclothes cops of breaking into minority households with iron rods in hands, picking up boys, and attacking womenfolk.
The new notification extends the application of the controversial disturbed areas Act on the city’s “sensitive” areas till 2019. Called Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Property for Protection of Tenants from Eviction from Premises in Disturbed Areas (amendment) Act, 2009, it prohibits sale of real estate property between Hindus and Muslims in areas the district collector declares “disturbed.” The original Act 1991 was meant for Ahmedabad only, but in September 2009 it was amended to make it applicable to entire Gujarat, with sweeping powers to district collectors to declare specified areas as “disturbed", banning sale of property between the two communities. Currently, 40 per cent of Ahmedabad is “disturbed area.”
Vadodara district collector Vinod Rao, reportedly justified re-imposition of the disturbed area provisions on “sensitive” areas, sahing, it has nothing to do with the recent violent communal clashes. According to Rao, the earlier notification declaring certain areas of Vadodara “disturbed” expired on September 30, one reason why it needed to be extended in order to “protect the interests of minorities so that they do not indulge in distress sale, and no one is able to evacuate a particular section from any locality.”, Riots in Vadodara were triggered last week because of a Facebook post, which sought to morph the image of a Hindu Goddess with that of an Islamic religious symbol. In all 140 arrests have been made following the riots.
Currently there are about dozen areas of Vadodara which are “disturbed”. However, according to reports, there have been demands for putting at least 10 more residential colonies – some of them posh – in the "disturbed" list. In case the government decides to add more areas, a separate notification would need to be issued. As of today, 50 per cent of Vadodara – third largest city of Gujarat – is “disturbed”, including the entire walled city. Declaring certain areas as "disturbed" and banning sale of property between members of two important communities is unprecedented in India.
Vadodara is known for some excellent academics who who were associated with the city. These include former Reserve Bank governor IG Patel and Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishanan. It has a renowned fine arts faculty attached with the MS University, Vadodara, with which top artists such as Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh, Himmat Shah and Vivan Sundaram were associated with it. It experienced its first major communal in 2002 with the rest of Gujarat. The rioting saw the infamous Best Bakery incident, in which 14 persons, including 11 Muslims and three Hindu employees, were burnt alive. Aggressive saffron attacks have continued thereafter in the city. Members of the saffron brigade targeted artists drawing "objectionable" paintings.
Eleven years following the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat, in which more than 1,000 people died, the Gujarat government declared in 2013 several new areas in Ahmedabad as "disturbed". Apart from communally sensitive Shahpur and Dariapur, it brought Gulberg Society and Naroda Patiya, under the disturbed areas Act. Gulberg Society and Naroda Patiya saw possibly worst violence in 2002. Minorities in these areas abandoned their homes, and were seeking to sell their properties because of sharp rise in real estate prices.

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.