Muslim owner forced to sell property in Hindu locality

Ahmedabad (Matters India): Facing opposition for a year from local residents, backed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a Muslim owner has sold off his property in a Hindu locality in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district.

In April 2014, VHP leader Pravin Togadia had allegedly exhorted supporters to get the house vacated by forcibly occupying it, after which an FIR was registered against him for “inciting communal passions.”

According to a media report, businessman Aliasgar Zaveri, who purchased a bungalow in an upmarket Sanatorium area in Bhavnagar in January 2014, had sold the property to Bhumiti Associates last December, The Hindu reported.

Confirming the development and the Hindutva outfit’s role, S.D. Jani, president of the VHP’s Bhavnagar city unit, told The Hindu, “We supported the agitation in Sanatorium by holding ‘Ram durbars.’ A Muslim had purchased the house, but a compromise was brokered and the property was sold to a Hindu three months ago. The VHP has been working for the implementation of the Disturbed areas Act in Bhavnagar [which prevents inter-community sale of immovable property] for the last 12 years.”

The ‘Ram durbars’ and ‘Ram dhuns’, Jani said were a gathering of about 200 people who gathered around 8 p.m. and sang bhajans to express that “Hindus are hurt.”

“It also sends a message that the Hindus are organised,” he said.

To antagonise Mr. Zaveri, residents reportedly took to chanting bhajans and ‘Hanuman chalisa’ before the property’s entrance.

The Hindu-dominated locality has about 60 houses.

The RSS on the other hand denied playing any role in Zaveri’s ouster. “I don’t even know about this issue,” an RSS member from Bhavnagar said.

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