Tension gripped Mota Varachha area of Surat on Saturday after a Patidar woman allegedly eloped with a Muslim youth, a few days ago. Members of the Patidar community had planned to take out a rally on Saturday, but local police denied permission, citing the law and order situation in the area.
The 24-year-old girl had married into a Patidar family a month ago at her family’s insistence but came back to her parents’ home. The girl then allegedly eloped with a 22-year-old Muslim neighbour. The girl’s family filed a complaint with the Amroli police in Surat on Friday after which the police launched a formal search.
Meanwhile, the girl’s family decided to hold a ‘Beti Bachavo Jan Jagruti Abhiyan’ and hold a rally with the members of their residential society that also included Patidar community members. The police, however, denied the permission for the rally.
Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma met the girl’s family on Saturday, giving them permission to hold an awareness meeting in the area instead. Sharma also met members of the Muslim community in the Mota Varachha area.
The awareness meeting, organised at Lajamdi chowk under heavy police presence, ended peacefully. A resident, Masud Voraji said, “There is communal harmony in our village.” He added that there are over 1,000 Muslims, a majority of them farmers, in the village.
Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said, “I personally told the Muslims staying over there that there is nothing to worry about. We have deployed over 200 policemen in the village along with two SRP battalion, five police inspectors, three Assistant Commissioners of police and a Deputy commissioner of police. We also talked to Patidar leaders in the area and convinced them to not take law in their hands or else there will be strict police action. We have not given permission to take out rally.”