Gujarat: 35 arrested in Ahmedabad after clashes erupt at 600-year-old dargah

On June 25, 2022, the Gujarat High Court refused to entertain a PIL filed by the Muslim community that said that attempts were made to convert the 600-year-old dargah into a Hindu religious structure.

Nearly 35 people have been arrested after communal violence broke out between two religious communities in Ahmedabad (rural) district, Gujarat, over a Dargah on the night of May 7. According to reports, the idol of Pir Imama Shah Baba in Gujarat was allegedly destroyed and replaced with Hindu deities. Surrounding graves were also reportedly ruined by the Hindutva groups.

A video has gone viral on social media platforms showing scores of people surrounded by police personnel standing in front of a 600-year-old dargah of Pir Imama Shah Baba located in Pirana village, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

Images show saffron flags mounted on the dargah while Muslim community members reason out with the police personnel present. Chairs lie broken, and the floor is strewn with shattered glass.

On May 7, the people of Ahmedabad in Gujarat voted for their MPs and the next Union government in phase 3 of the Lok Sabha elections. The voter turnout was recorded more than 50% in the state.

The Pirana shrine is managed by the Imamshah Bawa Roza Trust which has been a symbol of the Hindu-Muslim amity, with members from both the communities being its trustees.

Siasat.com spoke to Ahmedabad (Rural) Superintendent of Police Omprakash Jat who said the dargah had no communal history and was worshipped by both Hindus and Muslims. The officer further confirmed that a large number of those arrested were locals and a few were outsiders.

“The dargah’s trust was managed by both Hindus and Muslims. Due to some differences, one of the trustees razed to the ground the graves of Sufi saint Imamshah Bawa and his family members at the Pirana shrine on Tuesday night, leading to members of two communities hurling stones at each other,” he told Siasat.com.

“We have arrested 35 persons under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) pertaining to attempt to murder, rioting and damage to public property, among others,” he said, adding the situation was brought under control, he said.

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