Mumbai, (VSK): Complaint against an illegal mosque led to assault on a Hindu family in Malwani suburban area of Western Mumbai on Tuesday evening.
However, the police have not filed any FIR in the case yet and is trying to hush up the matter as ‘personal altercation’ and is refusing to look at it as a larger issue of Muslim aggression.
“A group of 15-20 Muslims, including women, barged at entrance of our house on Tuesday evening. They were shouting out our names, abusing and threatening to finish us off. For a moment it felt like a mob-lynching kind of situation,” said Ramesh Patel, a resident of Chheda Complex of Malvani area and victim of the attack.
“There was hardly any provocation as such. Ahmed Sheikh (22) had been bullying and harassing my younger brother Mahendra for past few days. On Tuesday when he went to deliver goods ordered at our shop, Ahmed yelled at him and when the action was questioned, he gathered members of his family and others saying that he was beaten up,” Patel said while elaborating the incidence.
“Fortunately, the assailants couldn’t enter our home, otherwise we were finished. My mother had to literally beg for our lives and since we have been living in the area for decades and she commands good respect, we were saved,” he added.
Following the incident on Tuesday, an overwhelming sense of fear has gripped Hindus in the locality. Mother of the victim is horrified and is mulling over shifting the family back to her native village. Others in the locality too complain constant bullying and harassment of Hindus. They see it as part of the larger conspiracy to force them into leaving the place and encroach upon their homes and lands.
“The incident on Tuesday is not an isolated one. We had been facing this ever since we opposed an illegal mosque built in our premises blocking entrance to our building and anti-encroachment squad of the municipality had arrived to demolish it in 2018,” said Pravin Jain.
“We have been facing constant harassment. Some of us have jewellery shops. After the complaint in 2018 Muslims in the area were appealed from mosques to boycott our shops. In our housing complex we aren’t allowed to celebrate any of Hindu festivals like Ganpati or Navaratri peacefully. Some or the other petty issue is raised, and false police complaints are lodged against us which ruins the festive spirit. A few underworld elements too are involved in the issue and a systematic attempt is being made to shoo us out from the society. We are experiencing here in Mumbai what the Hindus in Kashmir must have experienced in eighties,” Jain added.
This locality of Malwani was in news last month when Dalit families had to flee the locality due to constant harassment and bullying. From once having more than 100 Hindu families, the locality now houses a mere 8-10 Hindu families. Ram Mandir Nidhi Samarpan Abhiyan posters too were brought down in the area by police saying it was a sensitive area. However, whenever, a complaint is lodged by Hindus, the police decline to recognize it as a communal issue and brush it off as personal altercations.
The Muslim goons enjoy political patronage from the local Congress MLA, who is also a cabinet minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and is guardian minister of Mumbai.
Malwani has around 15 to 18 lakh of Muslim population and has over 250 mosques in the area. The illegal mosque too was built in the locality that had around 95 percent Hindus. Now, the numbers are declining. Hindus are being forced to sell off their property for lower prices than prevailing market prices, residents of the society said on condition of anonymity.