Four Muslim men, arrested after activists of the Bajrang Dal objected to their presence at a Garba dance event organized at a private college in Indore, were released on Tuesday after they furnished bonds, an official said. Their family members questioned the rationale behind the arrests. Two of them were students of the same college and serving as volunteers during the event, family members said.
Sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Parag Jain ordered the release of Adnan Shah, Mohammad Umar, Abdul Qadir and Syed Saqib after they furnished bonds of Rs 50,000 each, a district official said.
The four were arrested on Sunday under section 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences) from the campus of a college located in Gandhi Nagar.
Abdul Hamid Shah, Adnan’s father, told PTI that his son was a student of second year B.Com. “He was serving there as a volunteer and was handling light and sound system during the program,” Shah said.
Displaying the identity card issued by the college and invitation to the program, he asked, “On what basis my son was sent to jail under CrPC 151? We feel it was done under political pressure.”
Abdul Aleem, Qadir’s elder brother, too said he was handling garba arrangements as a volunteer.
But additional superintendent of police Prashant Choube said these men had a dispute with some others during the program, so they were arrested as a precautionary measure under section 151.
Eyewitnesses said that Bajrang Dal activists had created a ruckus objecting to the presence of members of the Muslim community at the event, following which police took four persons to the police station. Bajrang Dal’s local coordinator Tarun Devda in a complaint filed with Gandhi Nagar police station alleged that the district administration had given permission to the organizers to invite only 800 persons, but they turned it into a commercial event by selling tickets, and between 2,000 to 3,000 people were in attendance.
Devda also claimed that by inviting a large number of Muslim youths to a Garba program organized during the holy festival of Navratra, the college was encouraging them to take part in such events. On Devda’s complaint, a case under IPC section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) was also registered against Akshay Tiwari, a member of the college management, police said.
Elsewhere, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Monday put up posters in Ratlam `prohibiting’ the entry of “non-Hindus” at Garba dance pandals to avoid the repeat of “controversial incidents” of the last year.
It had put up such posters in 56 pandals with the consent of respective organizers, said an office-bearer of the right-wing outfit.