Vadodara: Navgujarat Samay which is Times Of India group’s Gujarati daily has reported in its October 1st issue that Manish Wagh, BJP Baroda’s Ward Pramukh (Chief), has been arrested in connection with burning of several houses of Hindu families in the Navapura area of Baroda. Along with Manish Wagh, 36 other officer bearers of BJP were also arrested in this connection. It is also reported that besides the aforementioned arrests, a few Muslim rioters were also arrested.
It is also reported that Manish Wagh’s arrest has led to several doubts regarding the entire modus-operandi of Baroda riots.
The four days of violence that continued unabated here last week was allegedly triggered by an image posted on Facebook. Muslim groups said the image was offensive to Islam. However, according to some media reports, prior events, marked by inflammatory statements in the run-up to the Navaratri festival, prepared the ground for a volatile communal situation.
Residents of Yakutpura – one of the worst affected neighbourhoods in the city — have alleged police complicity in the violence. In the Taiwada area, where the police conducted raids at night, residents claimed that a team of police personnel arrived with nearly 30 men in plain clothes, whose faces were covered with a cloth. They accused the police of assaulting women and setting a motorbike on fire.
Throughout September, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad gave several statements in the media saying that Muslims would not be allowed at ‘Garba’ events. The Hindutva outfit planned to launch a campaign against ‘love jihad’ and beef consumption during Navaratri.
The violence which has left with the stabbing of two, and loss of properties of many others, coincides with Mr. Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States. In his first ever international interview since assuming office, Modi, when questioned about the patriotism of Indian Muslims, told that, “Indian Muslims will live for India and die for India.” However, since assuming office, he has done nothing with regards to containing the raging communal violence in the country, perpetrated by elements part of and affiliated to his party.
With inputs from Truth of Gujarat and The Hindu.