Saturday, December 2, 2023

Satara: Muslim man killed after violence erupt over social media post, family, locals accuse BJP state VP’s involvement

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The family of the deceased and local Muslims hold a protest outside Satara District Hospital. Photo credit: Sarkar Nama.

A Muslim youth has been killed, while ten others sustained injuries during a communal conflict triggered by “objectionable social media post” in Satara District, Maharashtra, on Sunday.

The clashes took place in Pusesavali village located around 50 km from the Satara district headquarters and 160 km from Pune.

People from the area, along with leaders, say that Hindutva groups, with support from a BJP leader, deliberately attacked the Muslim-majority region. They also question whether the case regarding the social media post is valid, suggesting that the accused’s phones might have been hacked.

The family members and local Muslims declined to accept the youth’s body, insisting on filing a case against five Hindutva leaders, including BJP state vice president Vikram Pawaskar, in connection with the violence.

A resident, who wished to remain anonymous, informed Maktoob, “In recent days, the Instagram accounts of some Muslim boys were hacked, and ‘anti-Hindu content’ was shared from them. However, the identity of the hackers remains unconfirmed.”

AIMIM Maharashtra state working president Dr. Gaffar Quadri also raised a similar allegation.

Calls made to Satara Police by Maktoob went unanswered.

According to the residents, the right-wing group also launched an attack on a mosque, targeting and assaulting a Muslim group that had arrived from another city. A Muslim boy who was attacked in the mosque has been admitted to Karad Town’s hospital. A source has verified that the mob also set two houses belonging to Muslims on fire.

Dr. Gaffar Quadri, the state working president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), released a video statement, stating, “A Hindutva mob targeted the Muslim community in Pusesavali over a social media post. Tragically, one Muslim man was killed in the attack, while three others are critically injured and currently hospitalized.”

Quadri expressed concern that such incidents aim to fuel animosity between communities and breed hatred.

Furthermore, Quadri raised suspicions about the involvement of BJP leader Vikram Pawaskar in the incident. He announced that a delegation from AIMIM would visit the village and offer condolences to the deceased’s family.

The Satara district administration has suspended internet services in the region as a precautionary measure, officials said.

It also posted an appeal to the public on their social media handle.

“On the backdrop of tensions in the Satara district, the district administration is appealing to the citizens of Satara district not to believe in any rumours. People should refrain from posting any content on social media that can potentially lead to communal discord and cause disturbance to law and order,” read the appeal by Satara District Collector Jitendra Dudi and Police Superintendent Samir Shaikh.

“We are appealing to the citizens to be alert and to inform the administration and police if they come to know of any untoward incident.”

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