Personal rivalry between two feuding leaders engulfs city
Gandhinagar : Over twenty vehicles are reported to have been set on fire in Vadodara on Thursday evening by clashing mobs and the police burst over a dozen teargas shells in a bid to force the unruly to disengage.
Though the genesis of the communal clash is attributed to personal rivalry between two feuding leaders, but trouble was ignited from a minor accident between two-wheelers driven by members of different communities.
There was palpable tension already, caused by a photograph in circulation on the social media since morning, designed to hurt the sentiments of both the communities. The minor accident proved the igniting spark, on this the first day of Navratri festival.
The pent up feelings erupted as both communities took to the street stones in hand. About 20 vehicles on the road were set afire by the clashing mobs which also tried to loot shops.
The police resorted to bursting of teargas shells after lathi charges failed to have the desired effect. Besides the city police, six companies of the Rapid Action Force and state reserve police have been deployed to maintain law and order.
Official sources said that the city was peaceful and the situation was under control. Heavy police reinforcements have been deployed in the riot-affected areas in view of the Navratri festivals.
The VHP had queered the pitch, demanding ban on the entry of the Muslim youths in the Garba venues after Imam Mehndi Hassan likening the Navratri with the ‘festivities of the demons’.
R K MISRA
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