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Communal clash in South Gujarat village: Silent on VHP "involement", state PUCL blames cow slaughter

Main road leading to the village
By Our Representative
A statement by the Gujarat branch of India’s premier human rights body, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), has blamed cow slaughter for communal clashes on the Bakr Eid day, October 7, at Dabhel village of Jalalpur taluka of Navsari district in South Gujarat. The PUCL said, “crux of the findings by the inquiry committee after its investigation” under its team found -- “during its visit to the spot of incident, that is Dabhel village, talks by the team members, interaction with the two youths who sustained injuries during the clashes, as also four police personnel” -- that “an incident had taken place of butchering a cow in the village before the clashes began in Dabhel village.”
The PUCL – under whose banner members of several well-known secular organizations and individuals, including Anhad, Social Justice Centre, VESMA, three advocates, and a local journalist took part – further said that the team’s “first hand information” on the clashes and firing in Dabhel village suggested that these took place because of “efforts” of the cow protection organization which tried to prevent cow slaughter.
While the PUCL refused to name the "cow protection organisation", a report published on the next day said the violence was triggered by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). It said, the in the Muslim-dominated Dabhel village of Navsari district  happened after a "tipped off" by VHP’s ‘gau rakshaks’ (protectors of cows) "detained a resident for allegedly selling beef. The villagers retaliated by attacking the police, who opened fire leading to injuries to two residents. The villagers then started throwing stones at the police force, injuring three policement", the report said.
Without naming the organization which had allegedly sought to prevent cow slaughter, the PUCL statement point out that even two Muslim organizations -- Jamiyat-e-Ulam-e-Hind and the Gujarat Muslim Gow Hifazat Committee, Bharuch -- “published pamphlets appealing to desist from cow slaughter practice”. The latter organization even “published and distributed pamphlets at the place of incident, i.e. Dabhel village, appealing to prevent cow slaughter”, it said, suggesting despite this cow slaughter continued.
The PUCL – which released the report four weeks after the incident – said, things would not have deteriorated had the police been vigilant. “On hearing shots of the firing, people of the village had gathered together. On learning that two youths have been shot at, village people collected together, made assault on the police party. As per information gleaned from the village people and the village heads-leaders, village people had assaulted on the police party under the impression that some victim in the police firing had died.”
Saying that it was wrong on the part of the police to “take entire Dabhel village as hostage”, the PUCL said, “During the visit of the Dabhel village, information was gathered that most of the houses of Dabhel village were locked. Entire village was found to be sleepy and quiet. Also, it appeared that the entire village was gripped with sense of fear and terror. Persons who were present in their houses in the village were afraid of giving replies to any kind of questions.”
According to the PUCL, all this information was gathered after the team visited “five houses”, after which “a meeting was held with the Muslim leaders of the village.” Yet, “very few people remained present.” From the submissions made by the village leaders who remained present in the meeting, “it emerged that during the clashes in the Dabhel village, an attack was made on the police party in which four police personnel had sustained injuries.”
“Day-by-day new persons are being arrested but they are innocent”, the PUCL complained, adding, “Arrests are made also from the villages other than Dabhel.” The police personnel injured, the report says, were “undergoing treatment in the Yashfin hospital situated in Navsari. In the same way, youths of Dabhel village who had sustained injury of bullet wounds due to police firing were also taking treatment in the Yashfin hospital.”
Meanwhile, the PUCL said, “Combing is being carried out throughout the day by the police right from the day of the incident till this date on a daily basis. There are more policemen than the number of villagers. Search is made by demanding identity cards from everybody coming out from mosque after offering prayers.” Quoting police, PUCL said, “There were 28 accused, and during the clashes a crowd of 200 people had assembled.”

Comments

Sangh Parivar said…
Happy to find that at least PUCL's Gujarat unit knows who are the culprits -- Muslim cow slaughterers. I only hope my comment is not deleted!!!
Anonymous said…
Theres alot of coruption, people are given money by police to name innocent people, who are then arrested and held without any evidence, villegers have been held for months now without being charged, this only happens in India, the who place is corrupt. realese them now, they have been held long enough.

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