Tension in Olpad town after Muslim man accused of kidnapping Hindu minor girl
Tension gripped Surat district’s Olpad town late Thursday as members from two communities, including alleged VHP and Bajrang Dal workers, indulged in stone-pelting after a minor Hindu girl allegedly eloped with a 20-year-old Muslim man on April 25.
While the 16-year-old girl returned home the next day, a kidnapping case has been lodged against the man who is yet to be traced. On Friday, several youths who allegedly took part in stone pelting were held from both communities.
According to local residents, a group of youths allegedly linked to the VHP and the Bajrang Dal on Thursday night arrived at a residential society where the 20-year-old man lived. Amid chants of slogans, stones were thrown at the house of the man and other houses in the neighbourhood.
The residents claimed that as youths from the other community retaliated, the protesters left. Nobody was injured in the stone-pelting.
Hitesh Joysar, Superintendent of Police, Surat district, said, “At present, the situation is normal and I have been here since last night. Our team reached the spot immediately on Thursday night before the situation went out of control. People were angry after a Hindu girl eloped with a Muslim man. A kidnapping complaint was filed by the girl’s family.”
He added, “Our officers have taken the statement of the girl. We will add sections under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act in the complaint. We have picked up some youths from both groups. We are working to register rioting offences against the mob and will also carry out a medical examination of the girl.”
A team of police officers was rushed to the spot on Thursday night, following which the mob was dispersed.
Later in the night, Joysar, Deputy Superintendent of Police B K Vanar, and other police officers reached the spot. People were instructed to remain inside their homes and police personnel were deployed in sensitive areas to prevent any untoward incidents.
According to the police, on the afternoon of April 25, the girl left for work.
But family realised she had not reached her place of work when her colleague called up asking for her. “The family members then checked at the man’s house but in vain. The two had reportedly been seeing each other for the last few months,” said an officer.
After returning to the town on April 26, the girl recorded her statement with the police. Some alleged VHP and Bajrang Dal members reached the Olpad police station the same day, seeking that the Muslim man be arrested at the earliest.
Following a complaint by the girl’s family, the police registered an FIR against the man under sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping) and 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her for marriage) of the IPC.