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A man from the Shia Muslim community, who resides in the Junnar taluka of Pune district, has alleged that he and his family were “socially boycotted” by the caste panchayat because he had raised his voice against the “social evils” in the community. He added that despite filing complaints and submitting “evidence” several times, the Pune Rural Police have not lodged an offence. Hamidul Hasan Mohammed Sayyad (35) said he then approached the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS). During a press conference on Wednesday, MANS office-bearers demanded that police should lodge an offence against the caste panchayat members, named by Hamidul under sections of the Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act.
Hamidul has alleged that members of a trust of the Shia community in Junnar, which acts like a caste panchayat and takes all important decisions pertaining to the community, had boycotted him and his family since May last year. He said, “Strong objections were raised from time to time when I participated in community programmes, such as marriages and even during the Muharram meetings. Posters were put up against me at the local masjid.”
“I raised my voice against child marriage in my community in September 2012, over which a complaint was also registered at the Junnar police station. Some persons in the community who do not like my work have conspired against me. Police are not supporting me. I am now fighting for justice with the help of MANS,” he said.
Meanwhile, police said they were examining the complaint. Inspector Kailas Ghodke of Junnar police station said, “We have received the complaint. But, at the same time, we have received some evidence from the other side, showing that the complainant was present at some of the community gatherings, which were held after he claimed he was boycotted. We are taking legal opinion over the issue.”
Hamidul, while agreeing that he had attended a marriage a few months ago, said, “I went for a marriage where I had food, but later the family members of the married couple were told that I am socially boycotted and should not be allowed to be present for the nikah (marriage) ceremony.”