Gujarat: Muslim Man Attacked with Bats and Knives During Cricket Match, Dies in Hospital

Salman Vohra, 23, went to watch a cricket tournament match in Chikhodra, Gujarat on June 22 and ended up being beaten to death. A resident of Polson Compound in Anand, Gujarat, Salman worked in the garment business.

Tensions had been high even before the match because Muslim players were excelling in the tournament, which upset some pro-Hindutva locals. Activist Aasim Khedawala noted that many players who did well in the quarterfinals and semifinals were Muslims, and one of the final teams was predominantly Muslim.

Organizers warned of potential communal confrontations, and many Muslim players reported feeling unsafe. The crowd at the match grew to around 5,000 people, with only about 500 Muslims present.

The violence started with a parking dispute. A group of men, including one who was drunk, confronted Salman over his parked bike. They later returned with reinforcements, mistook another Muslim man, Suhail, for Salman, and began attacking him. Salman intervened to save Suhail and was then surrounded by the mob.

Salman was brutally beaten while the crowd watched, some even cheering the attackers. The assault ended when the attackers believed Salman was incapacitated. Onlookers then provided him with water and called an ambulance. He was taken to a nearby hospital, which referred him to a larger facility. However, Salman succumbed to his injuries en route.

The post-mortem report revealed that a knife wound to his kidney was a primary cause of death. Two other Muslim men were also injured, requiring 17 and 7 stitches respectively. Salman’s family filed an FIR at 4 AM on June 23 at the Anand Rural police station.

Congress leaders Imran Khedawala and Gyasuddin Shaikh are advocating for strong action against the perpetrators. Salman’s family, in shock, is struggling to cope with the tragedy. His wife is currently unable to speak due to the trauma. Despite the grief, Salman’s uncle Noman Vohra mentioned that the police have been cooperative and expressed hope for justice.

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