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A trip in the celebratory spirit of Eid turned out to be an experience in discrimination for many Muslims in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat. The Himalaya Mall, among the five biggest malls in Ahmedabad, on 9 August announced a fee of Rs 20 from visitors from the minority community, to be returned to them only if they bought anything from the mall, and retained if they didn’t. Many felt it was discrimination against a specific group on Eid when footfalls at the mall peaked, a national daily reported on 10 August.
“The security personnel were being selective. We saw people walking past without paying any fee. When we asked the security guards, they said that they have orders to follow and asked us to pay up. We’re shocked,” said Saiyad Shaikh, a resident of Delhi Chakla, who had come to the mall with his family. Iliyas Ansari, who stays in Shahpur, said, “We’re willing to pay entry fee provided the mall charges it from everybody. Why discriminate against just one community?”