23-year-old Muslim man beaten to death with bats and knives at cricket match in Gujarat

The man was brutally beaten with bamboo sticks, bats and knives according to the police. The eyewitness accounts say that he had a part of his ear bitten off by the assailants.
A screen grab of the video of the incident circulating on social media.
A screen grab of the video of the incident circulating on social media. (Photo| X)

A twenty-three-year-old Muslim man named Salman Vohra was allegedly beaten to death by a mob during the final match of a cricket tournament in the Chikhodara village in Anand district of Gujarat on June 22. The incident happened at around 11:30 pm when a group of people who came to watch the cricket match got into an altercation with Salman following which the group turned violent and allegedly beat him to death.

Apart from Salman, two other Muslim men were also injured, one of them got around 17 stitches and the other around 7 stitches, reported The Quint.

According to media reports, locals said tension had begun even before the match as a good number of players taking part in the tournament were Muslims and they were "playing well" which disturbed a section of "pro-Hindutva" locals.

Reportedly, one team playing the match mostly comprised Muslims and the other team had up to 3 Muslims.

The organizers of the cricket tournament had warned of a communal clash due to this and many of the Muslim players had expressed fear about taking part in the match, reported The Quint.

On the day of the match, a group of men including a drunkard allegedly got into a fight with Salman over parking his motorcycle.

According to The Quint, the men kept saying, "Vohra, do what we're telling you to do."

A few moments later, they returned with more men and started attacking another Muslim man named Suhail, mistaking him for Salman. Salman jumped in to save Suhail and the mob surrounded him and started beating him mercilessly until they "assumed there was no energy or will left in him," reported The Quint.

In a video of the incident circulating on social media, some people present at the site can be heard cheering the attackers by shouting, "maaro! maaro!" (Hit him! Hit him!).

After the group stopped attacking him, a few onlookers picked Salman up, made him drink water and also called for the ambulance. The ambulance took him to a nearby private hospital where he was declared dead.

According to Anand Deputy Superintendent of Police JK Panchal, Salman was beaten with bamboo sticks, and bats and was stabbed with knives.

The post-mortem report, as seen by Salman's uncle Noman Vohra stated that the knife had entered the kidney, which was one of the main reasons behind his death, reported The Quint.

"I saw his body. He had marks on his right hand, cuts below his eyes, his ear was brutally damaged. In fact, they (the attackers) almost bit his ear off. The knife cut damaged his kidney, which was the biggest wound. He was also beaten on his lower waist and neck so these areas of his body bled a lot," The Quint reported Salman's uncle as saying.

Anand Rural Police registered an FIR in the matter which includes sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) such as 143 (Punishment for unlawful assembly) 147 (Punishment for rioting), 148 (Being armed with a deadly weapon) 302 (Murder) and 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon) among others, including The Gujarat Police Act.

Following an investigation, the police arrested eleven individuals and presented them in court, which granted them a seven-day remand for further investigation.

The police will present the accused in court today again as the remand period has concluded.

According to the Anand DSP, the names of the men arrested in the case are: " Mehul alias Gheto Dineshbhai Parmar, Kiran alias Holo Mafatbhai Parmar, Mahendra alias Fulio Rameshbhai Vaghela, Akshay alias Bako Narsinghbhai Parmar, Ratilal Zenabhai Parmar, and Vijay Mangalbhai Parmar, all residents of Chikhodara, and Ketan Mahendrabhai Patel, a resident of Vaghasi."

The DSP told The New Indian Express that four more arrests have been made in the incident.

"We have arrested four more accused and will produce them all in court today for further remand...this is not a mob lynching incident," he said.

Several activists and politicians including the AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi have condemned the incident.

Pointing out it was an incident of mob lynching, Owaisi posted on social media, "Salman Vohra was brutally lynched as a crowd watched and cheered the murderers. Some members of the Kshatriya community are reportedly pressurizing the police to remove the name of Shakti Singh from the list of accused.”

“He is also a relative of a BJP MLA. I spoke to Salman’s father, Hanifbhai, on the phone and assured him of all possible support. AIMIM Gujarat President Sabir Kabliwala also met his family during this difficult time. Gujarat Police must take impartial action and ensure justice. Lynchings continue to happen because such murderers almost always have the sympathies of the ruling establishment," Owaisi added.

Indian National Congress leaders in Gujarat also visited the home of the deceased and demanded severe punishment for the accused.

(With inputs from Dilip Singh Kshatriya)

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