On Tuesday, the Dharwad Zilla Durbala Alpasankyatara Abhivrudhi Seva Sangha called for the postponement of elections by the Anjuman-e-Islam organisation until individuals detained in connection with the Hubballi riots case are granted bail.
The president of the Sangha, IM Torgal, expressed concern over the impact of the Old Hubballi incident on the morale of the Muslim community. He emphasised the suffering faced by families due to the actions of certain youths and urged Anjuman-e-Islam to refrain from conducting elections until all detainees are released on bail.
Torgal further demanded the immediate resignation of Anjuman-e-Islam’s current president, Yusuf Savanur, stressing the importance of fair and impartial elections should they proceed.
In April of the previous year, Anjuman-e-Islam had announced its intention to legally represent individuals arrested for their involvement in the violence that erupted in Hubballi, Karnataka. The organisation has been providing legal assistance to the 154 individuals detained following the disturbances.
The violence in Hubballi on April 16, 2022, unfolded after an Islamist mob besieged the Old Hubli police station, alleging inaction against a Hindu individual accused of sharing objectionable content on WhatsApp. The mob’s agitation resulted in stone-pelting at the police station and nearby establishments, including a Hanuman temple and a hospital.
Notably, just before extending legal support to those arrested in connection with the riots, Anjuman-E-Islami had conducted a ceremonial offering at the Hanumantha temple in Dharwad as a display of solidarity and brotherhood.
Police investigations have revealed connections between the rioting mob and the Raza Academy, a radical Islamist organisation notorious for its involvement in the 2012 Azad Maidan riots in Mumbai. Provocative speeches by controversial cleric Maulana Wasim outside the Old Hubballi police station incited the mob, leading to violent confrontations with law enforcement officers.
In December of the previous year, 35 accused individuals in the Hubballi riots case were granted bail. Mohammed Yousuf Savanur, the president of Anjuman-E-Islam, Hubballi-Dharwad, noted that bail had been previously granted to 11 others.
Last October, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar appealed for the withdrawal of cases related to the 2022 Hubballi riots in a letter addressed to Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Hitendra.