Local Activist’s Arrest Triggers Protest in Ahmedabad


Women Led Protests Demanding Justice for the activist Altaf Khan

Team Clarion 

AHMEDABAD — The arrest of Altaf Khan, a prominent community activist who led a cleaning campaign at the Chartora graveyard, has sparked widespread protests and demands for his release. Local residents, particularly women from Khan’s neighbourhood, have taken to the streets with banners calling for justice, highlighting his contributions to the community.

Altaf Khan’s niece, Rumana Pathan, said that the graveyard was in shambles before her uncle initiated the cleanup effort. “We have pictures showing the cemetery filled with heaps of dirt, animals roaming freely, children defecating on the graves, and waterlogging during the rainy season causing bodies to float. The graves were in terrible shape, with pits everywhere. People were using the area for all sorts of unsanitary activities,” she recounted.

Pathan said that Altaf Khan started a cleaning campaign and with his efforts, the condition of the Chartora graveyard improved drastically. “Despite these positive changes, Khan has been attacked three times recently. In self-defence, he took some actions, which were caught on CCTV and used to portray him as a gangster. This led to his arrest, and support for him has waned,” Pathan said.

Other women in the community echoed Pathan’s sentiments, emphasizing Khan’s dedication to improving the graveyard for the benefit of all. “Altaf Khan started the cleaning campaign out of concern for his people,” said one protestor. “The graveyard has significantly benefited from his efforts, but some have misinterpreted his actions and ensnared him in legal troubles. We are here to demand justice for Altaf Khan,” she said.

The women, unified in their demand for justice, have highlighted the broader issues faced by the Chartora graveyard, including illegal occupation and neglect. Their protests have drawn attention to the need for better management and protection of community spaces.

In a detailed report published by Clarion India, the administration acknowledged the longstanding issues of desecration and illegal occupation at the cemetery, as well as the community’s suffering due to the lack of cleanliness. The report also underscored the impact of Khan’s cleaning campaign on improving the graveyard’s conditions.

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