Published On:14 November 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Muslims of Sardarpura had saved people from dacoits

By Paras K Jha & Satish Jha

Sardarpur: "In the 400-year history of this village, we had never experienced communal tension between Hindus and Muslim before 2002. In fact, Muslims and Hindus had lived in this village so peacefully that it could be a model village for communal harmony," said Munsafkhan Pathan, retired police official and one of the prime witnesses to Sardarpura massacre case.

Pathan was busy with preparations for his nephew's wedding scheduled on November 11, when DNA visited him in Sardarpura on Wednesday. Talking about communal harmony in the village, he said: "This village was under the regime of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad of Baroda and the Muslim fighter community had been given the responsibility of protecting the area. Thus, Sardarpura village came up. In fact, till now, we have a letter written to our forefathers by the Thakor administrator of nearby Dhanpura, in which it was mentioned that the Muslim administrator of Sardarpura had brought Patel community people from Dhanpura to Sardarpura and helped them settle there for agriculture."
He added, "In fact, Muslims of this village have shed their blood to protect the villagers from the attacks by dacoit Meerkhan. But under the influence of RSS and VHP, the mentality of young people of the village got changed."

According to Pathan, earlier during the marriage processions, members of Patel and other communities would stop playing music voluntarily while passing by the mosque in the village, but afterwards, they won't stop but no Muslim ever objected. After some time, the members started throwing firecrackers at the mosque during such processions. Senior community leaders from both the sides tried to control them but in vain.

"In fact, a day after the Godhra train carnage, some shops of Muslim traders were burnt in the village. Sensing seriousness of the matter, I had called a special meeting of all the communities for preventing further damage to communal harmony. While many people attended the meeting, Patel community people remained absent. The reason for their absence was known on March 1, 2002, when 33 innocent people, including women and children, were brutally burnt in a room," Pathan said.

Even today both Hindu and Muslim residents are trying their best to restore confidence in both the communities _ for each other. "We had planned to invite all families of the Patel community, including the accused, to my nephew's wedding. Now that the verdict is out , we are not sure if they would accept our invitation. Besides, we had tried to bring in a compromise formula in the case, but because of political interests of some people, our efforts were ignored and overruled," he said.

(Courtesy: DNA, Mumbai)

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on November 14, 2011. Filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on November 14, 2011. Filed under , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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