Mandal's Valmiki community seeks permission from TDO for migration. Image Source: OpIndia Gujarati

In a recent development, the Valmiki community residing in Mandal has written a letter to the Taluka Development Officer (TDO), expressing their desire to migrate due to a recent tragic incident. The incident involved two Valmiki youths who were brutally attacked by Muslim youths. The Valmiki Samaj, in their letter, cites the growing influence of anti-social elements within the local Muslim society as the primary reason behind their decision. Furthermore, they have highlighted concerns about the potential threat to their lives.

On May 2, 2023, two individuals, namely Samir Salim Adi and a minor companion, viciously attacked two youths who had intervened to prevent them from making an offensive joke. Tragically, one of the youths sustained serious head injuries, while the other suffered severe fractures.

The police promptly apprehended both assailants in connection with the case. In response to this disturbing incident, the local Hindu community and various organizations rallied together, submitting petitions to various authorities, including the Ahmedabad district collector, urging for stringent punishment to be meted out to the accused.

The court granted bail to one of the accused, the juvenile (son of Mehboobbhai Adi), leading to his release. Meanwhile, the court is currently deliberating on the bail application of Sameer Salim Adi, the other accused. However, the Valmiki community has raised objections to this bail plea. Additionally, community members have come forward, alleging that they have been receiving threats from certain leading and powerful individuals within the local Muslim community.

The Valmiki community in Mandal seeks permission to migrate

The Valmiki community of Mandal has sent a letter to Taluka Development Officer (TDO) seeking permission for migration. “We have been living for years in Mandal at the old Valmiki colony, where the Muslim community population lives in and around the entrance of the Valmiki colony, and the Valmiki community has been troubled for years by them,” the letter said.

The letter further adds, “Adjacent to the colony, individuals from the Muslim community have erected shops without obtaining prior permissions from the panchayat. These shops remain operational throughout the day and extend their operating hours late into the night. Disturbingly, the children and young girls belonging to the Valmiki community face verbal abuse and derogatory comments pertaining to their caste when they visit these shops to make purchases.”

In the letter addressed to the TDO, the victims highlighted the distressing situation where certain individuals from the local Muslim community subject the Valmiki community to relentless torture. This torment has become so severe that it has compelled the Valmiki community to consider fleeing their own colony. Furthermore, the perpetrators continuously instigate quarrels as a pretext to launch attacks on the Valmiki community.

The continued torture inflicted upon them not only jeopardizes the well-being of individual families but also poses a significant threat to their very existence. Consequently, the Valmiki community finds themselves left with no choice but to contemplate mass migration as a means to escape the physical and psychological torture they endure.

Threats of mowing down a car

In order to gather additional information regarding the matter, OpIndia reached out to Bhavin Siresia, a prominent leader representing the Valmiki community. As per Siresia’s account, the victims are currently facing coercion to retract the police complaint that was filed subsequent to the previous incidents of assaults.

In a letter addressed to the TDO, Rahul Siresia, one of the victims, expressed that the accused individuals from the Muslim party were exerting pressure on the victim’s family to withdraw the case. Moreover, the family has been receiving death threats from different people. Disturbingly, threats have also been made to blow up the family’s vehicle while travelling on the road. These grave circumstances have instilled such fear in the family that they are reluctant to leave their house. Consequently, they are seeking permission to relocate. OpIndia has obtained a copy of this letter.

As it happened

On Tuesday, May 2, at approximately 6 pm, a 10-year-old boy visited a shop located near the entrance of Valmiki colony. While there, he became the target of ridicule by a group of Muslim youths present, including Sameer Salimbhai Adi and the minor son of Mehboobbhai Adi. Witnessing this incident, two Dalit youths who were standing nearby intervened and requested the group to refrain from mocking the child. This led to a heated altercation between the two factions.

During the incident, the minor accused and Sameer, who had initially engaged in the quarrel, became agitated and proceeded to physically assault the Dalit youths, employing casteist slurs. Shockingly, the minor offender wielded a large stone and struck Rahul, a young member of the Valmiki community, on the head, resulting in grave injuries. Meanwhile, Sameer Salim Adi attacked Haresh with a wooden stick, inflicting severe harm upon him as well. Seizing the opportunity, the two accused hastily fled the scene, amidst the commotion caused by local bystanders. Throughout their escape, they continued to intimidate and issue threats to the victims.