Leader Of Tiny Indian Fishing Village Asks Court To Allow Him And 600 Followers To Commit Suicide
Muslim fishing community in Gujarat asks court for permission to kill themselves after being unable to pursue their livelihood
(Getty Images)

The leader of a Muslim fishing community in Mahatma Gandhi’s hometown asked an Indian court earlier this month to allow him and 600 of his followers to kill themselves.

The bizarre request from Allarakha Ismailbhai Thimmar, leader of a fishing village in Porbandar, was lodged with the Gujarat High Court. The Gosabara Muslim Fishermen’s Society claims its members have been driven to desperation by the local government’s 2016 decree barring their boats from docking at a local port.

“Thimmar and his community are being denied their rights despite having licenses,” said the group’s lawyer, Dharmesh Gurjar. “They say that they are like dead wood, and without a decent livelihood it’s better to end life en masse. And they asked for mass euthanasia.”

The order barring the community’s boats from docking at Gosabara port has ravaged the community’s economy, the group claims, alleging that “the government does not provide facilities to people belonging to a particular community.” Unable to go to sea to fish, the men of the society are forced to do odd jobs and fish in an area river and lakes.

Gosabara is the only majority-Muslim village in the area. The village is in the western Indian state of Gujarat, home of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and a stronghold of his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Thimmar alleges that authorities are “harassing” his group’s families and that it allows Hindu fishermen to use the port. The petition claims the society is loyal to India and has “given information to security agencies” on criminal activities sponsored by Pakistan.