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Gujarat: Two FIRs identify anti-CAA protesters as Muslims

When asked how the crowd was identified as belonging to one community, the complainant, Sub-inspector L P Rana, told The Indian Express, “Muslims and Hindus look different. Also, Hindus won’t come to protest this, only Muslims can. But regardless, we are examining footage.”

Written by Sohini Ghosh , Aishwarya Mohanty , Vaibhav Jha | Ahmedabad, Vadodara | Published: December 24, 2019 3:15:22 am
Gujarat, Gujarat CAA protests, Ahmedabad news, Ahmedabad city news, CAA protestes Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad NRC protest  A total of 42 people were arrested. (Express photo: Javed Raja/File)

Two FIRs filed in connection with protests against the new citizenship law and NRC identify protesters as belonging to a particular community, while a third FIR says that the accused entered a dargah to offer namaz in a planned manner and then came out to instigate violence.

An FIR filed in Chhapi police station of Banaskantha district regarding a protest on December 19 says, “The accused applicants (for the permit) and the above mentioned named accused and approximately 3,000 unknown persons from the Muslim community sought permission to assemble for the reason of commemorating the martyrdom of Ashfaqulla Khan and Bismillah (Ram Prasad Bismil)…”

It adds, “To ensure protests do not take place, there were police arrangements made from 8 am along with a videographer, Piyushbhai Manilal Parmar, who was video-recording when at that spot CAB bill protesters started assembling and Muslim persons from nearby started coming….”

A total of 42 people were arrested. When asked how the crowd was identified as belonging to one community, the complainant, Sub-inspector L P Rana, told The Indian Express, “Muslims and Hindus look different. Also, Hindus won’t come to protest this, only Muslims can. But regardless, we are examining footage.”

Another FIR filed in City police station, Vadodara, in connection with a stone-pelting incident in Hathikhana area of the city on December 20 states: “A mob of around 80-90 Muslim people, protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), armed with weapons and with an intention to kill, got together at the government Kavi Sundaram primary school, armed with swords and stones and shouting, ‘Kill them, Cut them’, and started pelting stones injuring police officials.”

The FIR lodged by D J Sosa, Police Inspector, City police station, adds, “We used the microphone to announce that stone pelting be stopped otherwise the police will be compelled to use force. Despite that 80-90 persons started pelting stones…”

When asked about the description, Joint Commissioner of Police Kesarisinh Bhati told The Indian Express, “This was planned to target police. We had conducted meetings with religious leaders to ask them to maintain peace. There has been misinformation about the new citizenship law and NRC among the minority community. It is a minority community-dominated area, that is why it is mentioned in the FIR.”

Sixteen people were arrested in the case.

Another FIR, filed at Isanpur police station regarding a protest at Shah-e-Alam area of Ahmedabad on December 19, when protesters had called a Gujarat bandh, named 81 people. The FIR, filed by J M Solanki, in-charge of Isanpur police station, states, “A mob entered the Shah-e-Alam dargah to offer namaz in a pre-planned manner and then came out on the street outside the Dargah to instigate violence.”

When asked about how the police identified the accused as those who instigated the violence, Solanki said, “The accused, Shahzad Pathan, had planned and brought his supporters inside the dargah in order to instigate violence. After he stepped out, the mob started attacking police.” A total of 74 people were arrested and three minors detained.

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