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Horror tales of Malegaon riots

A Milli Council delegation which visited the riot ravaged city of Malegaon has presented a sorry state of affairs. The two-member committee met a large number of people affected by the riots and visited tens of villages near Malegaon affected by the riots that killed more than a dozen Muslims.

The delegation was baffled by losses in city and areas surrounding it. Not only several mosques and madrasas were destroyed and shops looted, it saw a well planned conspiracy to destroy Muslim business establishments and terrorize them.

A press release issued by the delegation after visiting the area says that in Malegaon Paltan Masjid was ransacked and copies of Qur’an were burnt. The shops and madrasa surrounding the mosque were also ransacked and set on fire. A house owned by Abdushshakur Muhammad Yaqub, adjacent to the mosque was looted and his famous bakery burnt down. Mosque of Bagh-e-Muhammadi was burnt down with several adjacent rooms. In a graveyard in its vicinity more than hundred graves were destroyed. The report says that two hundred houses in the same area were damaged by hooligans and their residents were terrorized.

Samseekar Mosque was totally destroyed and nothing was left behind. Eleven shops in the mosque were also burnt down. Diamond Mill Company owned by Faheem Ahmad and Jawed Ahmad, where there were 200 power looms and hundreds of workers were employed there was also set on fire. Everything was destroyed in the fire. When the Council delegation met its owners they were told that it was done on Friday, 26 October when it is a holiday for the company. The administration did nothing to save their 200 power looms and as there was no worker on that day, they could not pose any resistance either. When a few people tried to reason with hooligans they were mercilessly beaten and one Haji Khalil Ahmad was killed on the spot itself. Faheem Ahmad told delegation that the fire continued but neither police nor the fire brigade came to their rescue.

In Junagarh Road all shops owned by Muslims were reduced to ashes. National Travels’ office, a famous travel and tour company was also burnt down. On Mahatma Phule Road Munna Cycle Market was first looted and then set on fire.
The delegation says that the Mausam Pul area is the nerve centre of the city, here too Muslims had to face severe destruction with hundreds of shops burnt down after being looted. Here 150 shops, 30 cars, 22 trucks, all belonging to Muslims were destroyed by setting them on fire and ransacking them. In Fruit and Spice Market near Jama Masjid 112 shops were reduced to ashes by the rioters and police did nothing to save these.

The delegation saw that in rural areas the hooligans tried to destroy Muslims and their businesses completely. The horrifying tales in Sanana Camp where some 500 people from 17 villages were camping showed how these people were targetted by rioters. In Arti village about a hundred houses and a mosque were burnt down. In villages like Lakhapur, Brahmanpur, Lunir, Soki, Chaudana, Virgaon, Parina, Karanjhapur, Askhera, Nilkhota and Bagla hundreds of Muslim homes were looted, ransacked and set on fire. Six mosques were also destroyed by rampaging rioters in these villages.

The delegation says that there was a conscious effort to destroy Muslims in surrounding areas of Malegaon economically. Thousands of people were forced to leave their homes and businesses and tens of people were murdered.

The press release sums up the losses as. 25 mosques were destroyed in Malegaon city and nearby villages. 69 homes were burnt in the city and another 373 in rural areas. 340 shops were set on fire in Malegaon city and 66 in villages. Small shops (khokhas) destroyed during riots are estimated to be 388 in city and villages. 27 trucks were set on fire as well as an equal number of cars besides 26 motorbikes.

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