Muslim man dies in Gujarat after being attacked by alleged Bajrang Dal members

Written by Sabrangindia Staff | Published on: March 13, 2018
Farzan Saiyad, 32, who was attacked in Chhatral in Gandhinagar district on March 5, 2018 by alleged members of the Bajrang Dal, died in hospital on Monday, March 12. Following his death, members of the Muslim community mounted a demonstration at the VS Hospital, and his family refused to accept the body until their demands were agreed upon. They initially called for the arrest of the accused, and for compensation. Saiyad’s family eventually agreed to accept the body after they were informed that all seven accused in the crime had been arrested. Imran Sheikh, a social worker aiding the family, said that following news of the arrests, the family accepted the body, and, "The Muslim community decided to collect funds for the family instead of waiting for the government". 

Attack On Muslim
Image Courtesy: Express Photo by Javed Raja

Farzan and his mother Roshanbiwi were allegedly attacked while making their way to the fields on March 5. The attackers allegedly cut off three of Roshanbiwi’s fingers, and broke her arm. She remains hospitalised. Farzan’s skull was broken in the attack. Family members said that the two were attacked for not abiding by the Bajrang Dal’s directive to remain indoors. 

Shamshad Pathan, a lawyer helping Farzan’s family and convener of the Alp Sankhyak Adhikar Manch, noted that that the authorities had repeatedly been notified "that communal tension was building up in Chhatral, but the government did not take any action. Farzan was killed because of utter negligence on the part of the government and its failure to maintain law and order. It is bound to pay compensation for the death," he said. Recently elected Vadgam MLA  and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, who briefly joined the protest, also said, "Time and again memorandums have been given to the Collector and the SP about violence in the area, but no action has been taken." Farzan’s uncle, Ahmed Hussain Sabbir, said, "The tension started on December 6 when Bajrang Dal led a procession through the Muslim-dominated Kasbavaas in Chhatral to mark the demolition of the Babri mosque." 

The police have acknowledged that there have been repeated instances of communal violence in Chhatral. Gandhinagar SP Virendra Yadav said, "In other cases that have happened in the recent past, we have made arrests and some matters are also in the court. We are aware of the recurring incidents and we are ensuring that there is no tension".