Free Press Journal

Communal clash leaves 1 dead; houses, vehicles burnt

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Gandhinagar : One person was killed in police firing and about 50 houses and vehicles set afire following a group clash in Vadavali village in Patan taluka in north Gujarat on Saturday. According to police, the trouble emanated from a minor quarrel and fight between two students over some disputes while appearing in the on-going high school examinations soon escalated. It assumed communal overtones and turned into a major group clash involving people from at least three surrounding villages.

The houses of a particular community was targeted by the violent mob with nearly 30 houses set on fire while about two dozen vehicles parked in front of the houses were also set afire. The police from Patan and Mehsana rushed to the spot but as the situation threatened to go out of control the state director general of police P P Pandey sent the Gandhinagar range IGP to the riot-torn village to bring the situation under control. It also took more than 10 fire engines from Mehsana, Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar to douse the fire.

The police resorted to lathi charge and burst several teargas shells to disperse the mob but the violence continued unabated after which the police was forced to open fire in which one youth was killed. More than a dozen people sustained injuries in stone throwing between the two groups of people.