Ahmedabad tense after more communal skirmishes

August 19th, 2008 - 12:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Aug 19 (IANS) Tension continued in parts of Ahmedabad Tuesday morning after clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups went on till late the previous night and police had to lob teargas shells to disperse mobs, officials said. Police were forced to fire over 100 tear gas shells in the lanes and by-lanes of the city’s Shahpur area late Monday night to bring the situation under control, an official said.

At least 30 people, including five policemen, have been injured in rioting in Shahpur since Sunday night. According to the police, more than 25 people from different parts of east Ahmedabad have been detained for rioting.

The violence began late Sunday night, when Hindu and Muslim groups clashed over a minor road accident in Delhi Darwaza area and police had to lob 72 teargas shells and fire one round in the air to disperse the mobs. Four people were injured in the skirmish.

The warring groups threw stones at each other for more than an hour Monday morning in Dariapur, Shahpur and Delhi Darwaza areas. There was panic in the neighbourhood and shops quickly downed shutters as people ran helter-skelter.

The mobs from the two communities clashed again Monday afternoon after a boy returning from school was attacked while passing through the Shahpur-Nagariwad area in the walled city.

Police sources said the recent arrests following the July 26 serial blasts here may have added fuel to the fire. Muslims have alleged that innocent people have been detained since Sunday.

There is palpable fear among residents of eastern Ahmedabad after the communal clashes.

On Monday, many office-goers went home early. Bhupendra Rana, a rickshaw driver from Rakhiyal area, said he would not risk driving early in the morning in the present situation.

Apart from Shahpur, the areas that remain tense include Gandhini pole, Delhi Darwaza, Nagoriwad, Tambu Chowki, Retiyawadi Rangil and Dariapur.

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