RESIDENTS OF Paldi area in Ahmedabad on Sunday called off a fast and silent march, seeking return of Hindu residents in one of the residential societies that has been allegedly “taken over” by Muslims. The area is covered under the Disturbed Areas Act. The protest was called off after police denied permission, citing “current political situation”. The residents under the banner of Nagrik Sewa Samiti, however, claimed that they would soon hold the protest.
Paldi is an affluent Hindu-dominated area with a majority population of Jains. Apurva Shastri of Nagrik Sewa Samiti had sought permission from police to stage a protest on Sunday morning where around 50 people were scheduled to sit on a symbolic fast outside Varsha Flats, followed by a silent march. “The protest was intended only at showing the strength of Hindu community residing in nearby societies by getting them together. But we will continue with it and seek permission soon,” said Shastri.
Shastri, who claims not to be associated with any Hindu outfit, said: “Varsha Flats under Jan Kalyan Co-operative Housing Society was constructed for Hindus some 35 years ago. Slowly, one after another nearly 20 Muslim families started living here. Recently, the society has been re-developed and turned into a seven-storey multi block society where around 125 families can live will be taken over by Muslims,” said Shastri.
The Samiti had also submitted a representation to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) stating that the re-development of the flats was illegal. Municipal Commissioner Mukesh Kumar said that the matter does not pertain to the AMC. “On enquiry, it was revealed that the AMC has no role. So, we have asked them to go to the appropriate authorities which in this case is the district magistrate.”