12 cases of rioting, arson registered; 9 persons arrested

Barring a stabbing incident, no untoward incident was reported in the riot-affected Shahpur and adjoining areas here on Thursday.

Joint Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said the situation in the walled city including Shahpur, Dariapur, Karanj, Mirzapur and other areas was “tense but under control.”

Group clashes broke out on Monday night at Shahpur over a marriage party passing through a place of worship blaring loudspeakers. As people from two communities indulged in stone-throwing, violence spread to adjoining areas and at least half-a-dozen incidents of stabbing, arson and shop-breaking were reported from different parts of the walled city.

The situation threatened to get out of hand on Wednesday after a youth, injured in stone throwing, succumbed to his injuries. A large number of people participated in his funeral and indulged in violence, throwing stones at rival groups.

800 policemen for bandobust

Mr. Sharma said a strong police bandobust was being maintained in all affected areas, with about 800 policemen, including six companies of the State Reserve Police and one company of the Rapid Action Force deployed. Twelve cases of rioting and arson had been registered in the Shahpur, Mirzapur and Karanj police stations and nine persons arrested. Five anti-social elements had been taken into preventive detention and the police were looking for more such troublemakers.

Trading charges

With the local self-government elections in Gujarat round the corner, the BJP and the Congress are trading allegations in the wake of the riots.

While the BJP alleged that the riots were deliberately fanned to defame the party, Congress leaders submitted a memorandum to Governor Kamla Beniwal accusing it of engineering trouble to divert attention from the Sohrabuddin and other fake encounter investigations by the CBI.