Parking row leads to communal violence in Gujarat town

April 14th, 2008 - 9:01 pm ICT by admin  

Ahmedabad, April 14 (IANS) Violent clashes took place between groups of people from two communities in Visnagar town in north Gujarat Monday, but a procession on the Hindu festival of Ramnavami concluded without any disruption, the police said. When Mehsana district police chief Raju Bhargav rushed to the town, about 150 km from here, the mobs were indulging in violence even after police had fired seven teargas shells. He ordered the firing of 10 rounds in air to disperse miscreants.

The trouble started with a minor argument over parking an auto-rickshaw. The rickshaw driver belonging to a minority community was beaten up when he refused to remove his vehicle from where it was parked.

As the news spread in the minority-dominated Kasba area, a strong mob with sticks, batons and sickles came rushing and attacked those who had manhandled the rickshaw driver. Soon, many more people joined the fray from both the Patel Vas and Kasba areas.

Bhargav said the situation was quickly brought under control and special police contingent was rushed to Visnagar. Patrolling was intensified in the town.

However, a shobhayatra or procession on the occasion of Ramnavami was taken out in the town without any incident, he said, adding no arrests were made till evening.

Visnagar residents said a large number of people had sustained injuries in the clashes.

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