A 23-year-old councillor of the Shahada Municipal Council was stabbed to death on Wednesday night, leading to tension in the tribal-dominated Shahada town of Nandurbar district. Saddam Hussain Teli was also the city president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM), and had led the party in the municipal council polls, winning four seats.
According to the police, on Wednesday, two groups got into a fight over taking water from a tanker sent to the Garib Nawaz locality in Shahada, which is facing a severe water crisis. The groups — one led by former Congress councillor Mukhtar Shaikh and the other by the son of AIMIM corporator Zahida Bi — got into a fight, according to sources.
The AIMIM corporator’s son was injured in the fight and was admitted to a local hospital. Hussain, according to the Shahada police, had gone to visit the injured man at the hospital when he was accosted by the accused. He was stabbed by four people outside the hospital and is said to have died on the spot.
Locals claimed that they had seen Shaikh along with his associates run away from the spot in a vehicle after the murder. After Hussain’s death, there was stone-pelting in the locality, with the mob targeting Shaikh’s house. “The murder was a result of the fight that took place over water, but we are looking if there is also a political angle to it. We have arrested four people so far based on information received,” said an officer from the Shahada police station.
Family members of Hussain, along with AIMIM MLA Imtiyaz Jaleel, held a protest in Shahada and said they would not bury the victim till the main accused Mukhtar Shaikh was arrested. While there was tension in the area, the family subsequently relented and Hussain’s burial took place on Thursday afternoon.
“This is a serious collapse of law and order as a public representative was killed. A few days ago, an old man was burned to death in this district after a minor scuffle. Action needs to be taken against people who have allowed things to deteriorate in this district,” Jaleel said.
This is the second incident of major violence in Nandurbar district in 15 days. Last week, the district witnessed arson and looting following the death of a man who was set alight after a scuffle.