A corporator of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen in Maharashtra's Aurangabad was sentenced to jail for a year. His crime? He had refused to participate in a condolence meeting held for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
According to a report published by The Wire, the corporator Syed Mateen Sayyad Rashid said that he had still not forgotten what had happened to the Babri Masjid in 1992 and how BJP leaders had played a vital role in inciting the mob of Kar Sevaks that had eventually brought down the historic mosque.
After he made the statement, the 34-year-old corporator was allegedly attacked by a group of BJP corporators including deputy mayor Vijay Autade on August 17 and the incident was recorded on the house's CCTV camera. The footage of the incident was also made public.
Following the attack, Mateen was also booked and arrested under three different cases and sent to judicial custody for one year. He was arrested under Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers and Drug Offenders Act, (MPDA) 1981.
Mateen was initially booked for 'promoting enmity between two groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony' and was taken under police custody for a day. He was arrested just the following day under the MPDA Act.
A case of rioting was also registered by the police against five BJP corporators but they were all granted immediate bail.
Mateen had been pretty vocal about the corporation's decision to build a memorial in the name of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray. In another such incident, Mateen had expressed his objection against singing 'Vande Mataram' in the office citing his right to freedom of speech and expression.
All these objections by Mateen were taken as a crime and an attempt to incite communal disharmony in the city. Meanwhile, the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has decided to move the high court against Mateen's arrest.