Muslims in Undhela village of Kheda district in Gujarat today boycotted the Gujarat Assembly elections. This is the village where the police were in October seen flogging Muslim men tied to a pole for allegedly throwing stones at a Navratri garba event.
Every Muslim in the village has so far boycotted the election, with just half an hour to go for voting to end.
Some Muslim men were arrested, tied to a pole, and flogged with canes by police personnel in the Kheda district. Crowds were seen cheering as officers watched plain-clothes cops hit the men.
The men were reportedly asked to “apologise to the public”, and the police inspector in charge of the area was present too.
An inquiry committee was set up after the flogging incident, but no report has been released yet.
The incident sparked outrage, with many questioning the police’s “kangaroo justice”, while there were others defending the “quick fix”.
News agency PTI had reported that a mob of around 150 people threw stones at a garba event on premises of a temple on October 3; 43 were named in the case.
According to the First Information Report, or FIR, members from the Muslim community in the village objected to garba being organised near a mosque, which is located across the temple.
“Police detained 13 persons after the FIR was registered at Matar police station,” Deputy Superintendent of Police VR Bajpai had told PTI. Police were deployed in large number at the village following the incident.
“The village sarpanch (head) had organised garba at a temple. A mob from the Muslim community tried to stop it from taking place,” Mr Bajpai told reporters.
Earlier, Kheda superintendent of police Rajesh Gadhiya had said a group of people led by two Muslim men entered the Navratri Garba venue and “started causing trouble”.