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Boycott Calls for Muslims Participating in Anti-CAA-NRC Protests in Kutch

Messages on social media have identified shops of Muslim vendors which were shutdown during the bandh in protest, calling for their boycott
Boycott Calls for Muslims Participating

Image for representational use only.Image Courtesy : The Indian Express

In the wake of anti-CAA-NRC protests happening across the country, a bandh was observed on January 29 which received strong support from local traders. However, local Muslim traders, who had shut down their shops, restaurants and hotels are facing threats from activists in the area and organisations associated with the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).

Messages have been circulated through multiple pro-CAA social media (Facebook and WhatsApp) accounts labelling those who supported the bandh as “anti-national” and calling for their economic and social boycott.


In one such message, shops predominantly owned by Muslims which were shut down in protest were identified with photos declaring: “Those who oppose Hindus shall be boycotted completely. Wake up Anjar. These people have made successful business due to the money of Hindus and they now have a problem if a Hindu victim from Pakistan takes shelter here.”

In another message, photos of hotels on the Kutch-Ahmedabad highway, mostly owned by Muslims, were identified and asked to be boycotted. The message read “Boycotting these hotels owned by Muslims will be a boon for Hindu victims of Pakistan. These people had shut their hotels protesting against CAA.”

Another message read: “Those who supported the bandh have been proven to be anti-Hindu. Now we have to prove our Hindutva and stop buying from all these people. Jai Shri Ram.”


The messages were widely circulated by many including Samji Ahir and Hari Barariya, residents of Anjar Taluka of Kutch and affiliated to the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

Bharat Sanghvi, a local BJP worker from Kutch circulated messages calling traders “anti-nationals” and asking people to not dine at hotels that remained shut in support of the bandh so that they remain shut forever.

In Ratnaal village of Anjar Taluka, home of Vasan Ahir, Gujarat minister of Tourism and Welfare of OBC, a hoarding was put up by a group named Akhil Bharatiya Desh Rakshak Samiti that read: “Jai Shri Ram. Anti-national elements shall not stop or park their vehicles and rickshaws in Ratnaal village.”

The hoarding has been taken down but no complaint has been filed in the matter as yet. Noticeably, the messages and calls for boycott had begun two days after the bandh.

Similar messages calling for a boycott were circulated in Vadodara, Surat and Banaskantha. All the messages consisted of a list of shops and hotels which were identified and labelled “traitors” for protesting against the CAA and NRC.


Days after the messages were circulated, a vegetable vendor named Hussain Memon was stopped from entering Pandhot village in the Lakhpat Taluka of Kutch. The perpetrators made a video where Memon is seen being stopped by group of men. One of them is heard saying: “The village was shut due to bandh so we decided that no one who joined the bandh will be allowed to enter our village from today.”

The video includes Memon’s reply, the vendor saying that “people in Kutch have been living in peace for years.” He is then interrupted by another man who says, “This is not just for you. This has become law for everyone. Today we are telling you politely, from tomorrow your vehicle should not enter the village.”

Noticeably, Muslims form about 25 percent of the electoral population of Kutch. However, a majority of the Muslim population is socially, politically and economically marginalised. A district that the riots couldn’t affect as it was still reeling from the earthquake of 2001 witnesses such acts of polarisation often.

Cultural programmes by right-wing organizations with trishul distribution have been organised several times last year in Abdasa, Nakhatrana and Abdasa talukas of the District.

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