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Muslims in Godhra celebrate Republic Day with Modi

January 27, 2009 20:19 IST

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A large number of Muslims, holding the national tricolour, greeted the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] during his visit to the densely populated Polan Bazaar in Godhra town on Republic Day, president of Ghanchi Muslim Samaj Phirdos Kothi said on Tuesday.
Talking to PTI on phone, Kothi said that members of the Muslim community in Polan Bazaar had decorated their homes and illuminated them marking the Republic Day celebration and they very eager to greet Modi on the occasion.
The official Republic Day celebrations of Gujarat government took place in the presence of Gujarat Governor Navalkishore Sharma and Chief Minister Modi at Godhra.
Polan Bazar in Godhra is the site of the 2002 communal riots, which took place after Sabarmati train carnage incident on February 27 in 2002 in which 59 people were burnt to death.
The Muslims staying in the area were hurt after the 2001 riots because it is peaceful area and had not witnessed such communal riots in the past, Kothi said. Muslims in the area were very eager to welcome and honour Modi on his visit to Godhra during the Republic Day celebrations, Kothi said.
The Samaj had also submitted a letter to the Panchmahal's district collector Milind Torwane, requesting him to organise Modi's visit to the Polan Bazaar and arrange a felicitation for the CM there, Kothi said.
Vipul Agrawal, the district supritendent of police of Panchmahal district, who was part of Chief Minister's motorcade convoy during Modi's visit to Polan Bazaar, told PTI that they had found it difficult to control the crowd who were very eager to greet Modi.
The Panchmahal district and police administration took upon the responsibility of Modi's visit to this most sensitve area and Modi halted his car in the area to greet Muslim youths and shook hands with them. The security agencies were against Modi visiting the sensitive Polan Bazaar locality.    

Both the district collector Milind Torvane and Agrawal were eager on Modi's visit to the area after learning the
mood of the people.Kothi said that these Muslim youths were very delighted for getting an opportunity to greet Modi after offering him flowers.
A Muslim youth Ismail said, "I was very excited on meeting and greeting Modi in Polan Bazaar. Sensing the mood of the Muslim community, Modi preferred to halt his car in the Polan Bazaar saying that they are all members of five-and-half crore population of Gujarat."

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