Twenty-eight persons were arrested by Vadodara police on Friday and booked under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for protesting outside the headquarters of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) at Khanderao Market. Around 100 members of displaced families of Kalyannagar gathered outside the VMC headquarters at five in the evening to protest against the delay in allotment of their houses when police arrested them.
The protesters had sought no-objection certificate from police to stage protest between 5 pm and 10 pm daily outside the VMC headquarters until their demands were met. But the police refused them permission citing law and order problem. The protesters gathered outside the VMC office at the designated time to carry on with their protest without police permission.
The arrested included Muslim activist JS Bandukwala. The VMC has not yet given allotment letters to the 340 Muslim families for JNNURM flats in Sayajipura after they were displaced from Kalyannagar in November. The civic body held back allotment of their flats after conducting draw on April 8, mainly because of representation from the residents and builders who are demanding to hold back Muslims moving into the Sayajipura neighbourhood.
“We wanted to protest against the action of the VMC to hold back our allotment letter but the police denied us permission. When we reached the gate of the VMC office at Khanderao market, we were stopped by a team of police who soon after arrested 28 members,” said a protesting member Shaukat Indori. The arrested persons were taken to Pratapnagar police station.
Despite conducting draw, the VMC has held back allotment letter as it has taken into considering representation from a group of residents and builders who are seeking to block Muslims from getting residence in Sayajipura locality. The protesters, including Bandukwala, Zuber Goplani, Shaukat Indori and others are demanding a deadline from the VMC regarding allotment letters to families mentioned in the VMC’s draw.