Police have booked Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil for his alleged remarks on the Modh Ghanchi caste in the state at a press conference on May 8, in which he is also reported to have pointed a finger at “certain politicians of the Ghanchi caste”.
An FIR in this regard was registered at Sola police station, following a complaint lodged against the Congress leader by a Shailesh Ramanlal Modi (a Modh Ghanchi himself), a resident of Gulab Tower in Thaltej. Modi has also handed over to the police a CD containing a video footage of Gohil’s press conference.
Sola Inspector S M Patel said, “We have registered an FIR. We will study the CD in details before proceeding with further inquiry into the matter.”
Shailesh Ramanlal Modi (a Modh Ghanchi himself) stated in his application to the Sola police that Shaktisinh Gohil had said that “certain politicians are playing games by calling themselves Ghanchi (OBC)…whether or not they belonged to the caste”.
In the application, Modi also said that during the p;ress conference Gohil had stated: “..Such politicians are doing this to gain political mileage…to get caste votes, win trust of OBCs and instigate anger among OBCs by playing caste politics. However by playing such tricks such politicans have spoiled the reputation of the entire Ghanchi caste…”.
Modi went on to say that Gohil had also accused the Modh Ghanchis of claiming to be OBCs to get political benefits and win support of OBCs that form a large percentage of voters in India. “..Such statements (of Gohil) incite caste and religious divide among people, posing a threat to democracy and peaceful existence in the society, and these allegations in turn spoil the reputation of our caste,” he further said.
He demanded that Gohil should be booked for this “serious offence” and “a criminal inquiry should be initiated against him for spoiling the reputation of the caste” by making such remarks and playing politics by hurting sentiments of a certain caste. He also stated that the details of Gohil’s remarks are available on his website. He also sought a case to be lodged under various clauses of IPC Section 171 and Section 153 (a) for promoting enmity among different groups, religions, race, etc.
Gohil has, on his press conference and later in a press note available on his website, stated that Modh Ghanchis belong to the business and trading community that falls under the “verna” of “Vaishyas” as per the caste system in the country, and are not OBCs as claimed by BJP prime minister candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.