Muslims banned in Garba festivals; Hindus allowed after sprinkling of cow urine
The ban has been imposed by by a local saffron outfit known as the Hindu Sangathan Yuva Morcha.
It's not only Muslims whose entry is restricted, Hindus will only be allowed if they agree to sprinkle cow urine on themselves and apply tilak on their forehead.
According to a Zee Media report, "Hindu Sangathan Yuva Morcha president Raghuvirsinh Jadeja said his associates will keep a strict vigil across Garba venues in Mandvi area. Local Muslim leader Azam Angadia said other members of the community are expected to meet soon and take a decision on the order."
"Navratri is a religious festival in which devotees worship the deity of strength for nine days. We are also concerned over the rising number of cases of love jihad," Jadeja was quoted as saying in a TOI report.
A BJP leader from Kutch told the daily, "Hindus and Muslims have been living in complete harmony since years in Mandvi. There are many Hindus who keep roza (fast) during Ramzan and Muslims join them with fervour in Ganesh Chaturthi. Such bans are in a very poor taste when there is no communal rift at all."
In 2014, VHP leader Pravin Togadia had said, Muslims must not be allowed inside the Garba events and insisted identity cards of each and every person be checked for participants in and visitors to such events.
"Navratri is the festival of Mother Amba's prayers and worship, so we cannot allow beaf-eaters Muslims to enter into Garba places," Togadia had said.