Mobs set on fire paper factories, damage vehicles

Indefinite curfew was clamped in Sanganer town, near here, on Friday following violent clashes between two communities in which over 20 persons, including some policemen, were injured. Mobs set on fire half-a-dozen factories of handmade paper and damaged a large number of vehicles parked on roads in the town.

An altercation between two persons belonging to different communities over parking of a motorcycle escalated into major violence.

People from both sides hurled stones and glass bottles at houses and went on the rampage. The raw material for handmade paper was burnt in the fire at the factories.

The policemen injured while trying to control the situation included acting Jaipur Police Commissioner Biju George Joseph, an Additional Deputy Commissioner and an Assistant Commissioner of Police. Police resorted to lathi-charge and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the violent mobs.

Police have so far arrested 12 persons in connection with the violence and registered 12 cases. There was a brief relaxation in curfew in the evening to enable the labourers to return home from factories in the industrial township, known for handmade paper production.

Tension escalated after the BJP MLA from Sanganer, Ghanshyam Tiwari, addressed a meeting of traders during the forcible closure of markets. People raised slogans against him when he tried to give a political twist to the violence and slammed the ruling Congress. According to eyewitness accounts, Mr. Tiwari left the meeting halfway.

Additional police force and teams of Special Task Force, Riot Control Force and Rajasthan Armed Constabulary were deployed in the town and fire tenders were rushed to douse the fire at factories. Employees trapped in one of the burning factories were rescued by the police personnel in a timely action.

Beware of rumours, cautions Gehlot

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot reviewed the law and order situation in the afternoon and directed the police and administration to take stringent action to control violence and restore peace. He also appealed to the people to remain alert to anti-social elements trying to spread rumours.