In a recent development, Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi has urged the withdrawal of a police case filed against 11 Muslims in Dharangaon, Jalgaon, Maharashtra. The case, registered on December 16, 2023, accuses the individuals of raising Hamas and Palestine flags and chanting anti-India slogans during a rally held on November 8, 2023.
According to Azmi, who spoke on December 18, no Hamas flags were raised during the rally, and he deemed the allegations against the accused as false. He asserted that the rally was organised by Muslims in support of Palestine with proper police permission.
The accused persons identified as Sheikh Rafiq Sheikh Musa Qureshi, Irfan Sheikh Armaan, Mohammed Ismail Yusuf, Nagar Momin, Nadimoddin Ejajoddin Kazi, Kalu Ustad, Mohammed Saleem Mohammed Isac Momin, Ibrahim Janab urf Ittu Janab, Amjad Khan Gulab Khan Beldaar, Mohammed Ayas Mohammed Siddiqi, Junaid Khan have been booked under sections 153(A)(1)(b) (promoting enmity between different religious groups) and 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Azmi maintained that the rally, held on November 8, had proper police authorisation and accused a local group of organising a counter-rally without permission. He claimed that no police case was filed against the organisers of the unauthorised counter-rally.
The issue gained prominence in the state assembly when BJP MLC Prasad Lad raised concerns about individuals supporting Hamas participating in the Dharangaon rally. Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis assured strict action against those accused of raising pro-Hamas slogans and flags.
A First Information Report (FIR) filed on December 16, 2023, is based on the complaint of a member of the Rashtriya Suraksha Manch, Dharangaon. The FIR alleges that during the rally, anti-India slogans, including pro-Hamas chants, were raised, and flags supporting Palestine and Hamas were displayed.
The slogans raised by the accused as per the FIR accessed by OpIndia are- “Gustakh-e-Nabi ki ek hi saja, Sar Tan Se Juda Sar Tan Se Juda,” “Hinduo ka raja, Mera Khwaja,” “Hamas Jindabad, Bharat Murdabad,” and “Hamas tera naam roshan hoga, insha allah insha Allah.”
The FIR states that the accused also carried steel rods during the rally, causing concern among locals. Videos of the incident captured by residents were submitted as evidence.
The FIR underscores the need for strict action against the accused, citing the potential threat to communal peace and tranquility. Further investigation is ongoing under sections 153(A)(1)(b) and 188 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Notably, the rally in question was organised in support of Hamas, the terrorist organisation responsible for a brutal attack on Israel on October 7. The Hamas militants reportedly abducted and killed hundreds of civilians, committing heinous acts during the attack. Similar rallies expressing support for Hamas have been organised by Islamists in various parts of the country.
The controversy continues as conflicting narratives emerge, with Azmi vehemently denying the allegations and calling for the withdrawal of the police case. The state assembly remains seized of the matter, with promises of thorough investigations and appropriate actions against the accused.