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Muslim Woman's Housing Allotment Sparks Protests in Vadodara

Friday, June 14, 2024 | June 14, 2024 WIB
Muslim Woman's Housing Allotment Sparks Protests in Vadodara
The housing colony in Vadodara. (Photo by B Rana)

Vadodara - A Contentious Allotment, A 44-year-old Muslim woman, employed with an arm of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Skill Development, was allotted a dwelling unit in the Vadodara Municipal Corporation's (VMC) low-income group housing complex at Harni under the Mukhyamantri Awas Yojana in 2017. However, even before she could move in, 33 residents of the housing complex comprising 462 units objected to her presence, citing a possible "threat and nuisance" due to her being Muslim.

Protests and Petitions

The woman says protests began in 2020 when residents wrote to the Chief Minister's Office (CMO), seeking her allotment to be invalidated. While the Harni police station recorded statements and closed the complaint, protests resurfaced on June 10.

A Plea for Inclusivity

"I have grown up in a mixed neighbourhood in Vadodara, and my family never believed in the concept of ghettos," the woman told The Indian Express. "I always wanted my son to grow up in an inclusive neighbourhood, but my dreams have been shattered as it has been almost six years, and there is no solution to the opposition I am facing."

Demands for Cancellation

In a memorandum to authorities, the Motnath Residency Cooperative Housing Services Society Limited, representing the 33 signatories, demanded the woman's allotment be "invalidated" and she be "shifted to another housing scheme." They cited the area being "Hindu-dominated" and her presence as "setting fire to the peaceful life of 461 families."

Concerns Over Religious Identity

Some residents claimed they booked homes in the colony because it was a "Hindu neighbourhood" and expressed discomfort with a "minority family" as neighbors, citing religious and cultural differences. However, another resident expressed solidarity with the beneficiary, calling the opposition unfair.

VMC's Stance

VMC officials stated that government schemes do not segregate applicants based on religion, and the housing draw was conducted as per norms. They suggested the matter should be resolved by both parties or through competent courts.

The article presents the situation objectively, including perspectives from the Muslim woman, protesting residents, and VMC officials, without taking sides or promoting any particular viewpoint.
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