The Vadodara police identified a network of local Muslim men who used to harass Muslim girls constantly in the city if they were seen with Hindu boys. The accused would make videos of the girls, and blackmail their families by showing the videos. The three accused persons have been identified as Mustakin, Najumian, and Sahil Sheikh and have been taken into custody by the police in this case.
According to the reports, one of the videos grabbed police attention after which the latter began an investigation into the case. The police found that the accused boys would deliberately target the Muslim girls and Hindu boys and later blackmail their families.
Police confirmed that these accused persons operated a WhatsApp group in which they used to monitor Muslim girls. They used to keep a watch on them and confront them if found or even saw a Hindu boy around them. They used to harass Muslim girls and videotape them with their male Hindu friends and would later use the same tape to blackmail the girls’ respective families.
વડોદરા:કોમી વૈમનસ્ય ફેલાવાનું ષડયંત્ર નિષ્ફળ
— News18Gujarati (@News18Guj) August 28, 2023
Reports mention that a similar video from Vadodara had gone viral two months ago in which a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl were seen sitting at an ice cream parlor near Akota Bridge in the city. Some youngsters then reached the spot, created a ruckus, and also grabbed the young man’s collar before thrashing him.
DCP Abhay Soni commented on the issue and told the media that the incident came to the fore as he was keeping a watch on the social media platforms to ensure that no communal incident takes place amid the festive season. “A viral video was seen on Twitter, in which two men and women of different religions were walking around, and some people surrounded them and misbehaved. On examination of the video, it was found that WhatsApp groups have been created, targeting people in where the girl and the boy were from different religions,” he said.
DCP Soni also added that this particular network has spread all over the city and it seems that many youths from specific communities have joined the said social media group.
According to him, these youths used to keep a constant watch and if any Muslim girl was seen with a Hindu youth, they would reach there immediately and start a ruckus. “Their modus operandi was to keep a group active for three to four months and then delete it and create a new one. Police found one such group called ‘Army of Mehndi’, whose three administrators have been arrested. They have been identified as Mustakin Imtiaz Sheikh, Buranwala Najumian Syed, and Sahil Shahbuddin Sheikh,” Soni said.
The police meanwhile also informed that the accused persons were planning to carry out incidents like mob lynching in the city. A case has been registered against the trio under sections 153A, 201, and 505 of the IPC. Their phones have been seized and will be sent for further investigation.
Earlier on August 16, OpIndia had reported a similar incident in which it was exposed how Islamists are actively using WhatsApp to radicalize and provoke their co-religionists to identify and harass inter-faith couples.
2023 witnessed the rising menace of targeted attacks by Islamists against inter-faith couples in different parts of India. Opindia had documented over 50 cases of real-life attacks on Hindu men and their female Muslim partners/ friends by these extremists over the past several months in the name of combating the ‘Bhagwa Love Trap’.
OpIndia also exposed how these extremists coordinate to carry out vigilante surveillance and spot checks in complete violation of the constitutional rights of the victims. The exclusive report can be read here.