Other States

Gujarat’s Khambhat returning to normalcy after communal clashes

No untoward incident was reported on Wednesday. The people who had fled their homes fearing violence were returning and markets remained open, a senior police official said.

Normalcy was returning to the Khambhat town in Gujarat’s Anand district on Wednesday following communal clashes during the previous three days, the police said.

As many as 84 persons have been arrested, officials said.

Seven First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered since Sunday, including one against former BJP MLA Sanjay Patel, members of the Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) and some local councillors, the police said. Sanjay Patel has not been arrested.

He and others were accused of breaching a notification issued by the district magistrate imposing prohibitory orders restricting movement of groups. They had organised a rally on Tuesday.

At the rally held near Gawara Tower, attended by over 6,000 people, they allegedly made provocative speeches, as per an FIR registered at Khambhat city police station under the Gujarat Police Act.

Tensions flared up on Tuesday amid the bandh call given by some Hindu outfits, leading to incidents of arson.

No untoward incident was reported on Wednesday. The people who had fled their homes fearing violence were returning and markets remained open, a senior police official said.

“In all, 84 persons have been arrested in seven FIRs lodged in connection with communal clashes that followed the bandh call yesterday,” Inspector General of Police (Ahmedabad range) A.K. Jadeja said.

“The situation is returning to normal. We carried out patrolling last night and today. Sufficient police deployment has been made,” Jadeja said.

At least 20 houses and as many vehicles were torched during the violence which began on Sunday.

What triggered the violence was not yet clear, with some reports saying that it was spill-over from clashes that had erupted during the Uttarayan festival in January.

Director General of Police Shivanand Jha visited the town on Tuesday and met people from both Hindu and Muslim communities.

Teams of Rapid Action Force and State Reserve Police were deployed across the town. The Gujarat Government had announced on Tuesday that it will impose the Disturbed Areas Act in some parts of the town. The Act seeks to stop distress sale of property in communally-sensitive areas.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 11:33:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gujarats-khambhat-returning-to-normalcy-after-communal-clashes/article30922743.ece

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