Paramilitary soldiers from the Rapid Action Force (RAF) walk past burnt vehicles as they patrol the streets in Vadodara city, some 110 kms from Ahmedabad. Gujarat has seen seen frequent incidence of communal violence. AFP

Abdul Hafiz Lakhani | Caravan Daily

AHMEDABAD — Six persons, including three policemen, were injured in a sectarian clash between two communities at Petlad town in Anand district of Gujarat on Monday, prompting police to use teargas to disperse the mob which hurled stones and damaged a few vehicles.

Police fired about 24 teargas shells to control the mob comprising over 200 people who hurled stones at each other over a minor argument.

Besides damaging some vehicles in the communally sensitive locality, some members also broke into a house and ransacked the belongings, Anand Superintendent of Police Saurabh Singh said.

“Over 200 members of the two communities clashed with each other today after a person on a motorcycle argued with a tractor driver belonging to another community on a congested road in the locality. A minor scuffle erupted into a major clash,” Singh said.

He said the mob pelted each other with stones in which at least six persons, including three constables, sustained minor injuries.

“Around 100 police personnel including local police, LCB and SOG personnel were deployed to control the situation,” he said, adding that the situation is under control now

Commenting on the development the Baroda based  human right activist Dr Juzar S. Bandukwala expressed grave concern over the communal flare up and growing polarization in the state. He said that Gujarat is a highly communal state and the hatred against Muslims runs deep within the upper caste Gujarati Hindus. The communal poison has touched alarming proportions within the upper class Gujarati Jain and Patidar (Patel )communities, he added.

Speaking to Gujarat Siyasat newspaper, Prof Bandukwala said that in the last hundred years, Gujarat had produced many national level leaders. However, with the exception of Mahatma Gandhi, almost all of them betrayed a mild to strong bias  against Muslims. One of them, K M Munshi was appointed as the in charge of Hyderabad state, after the “Police Action” in 1948. Literally, thousands died in that “Police Action”. It is no wonder that the RSS/BJP have developed deep roots in Gujarat. Ahmedabad  became the saffron political capital of the country, much before the rise of Modi. Every top  saffron leader ultimately entered Parliament through Gujarat, he pointed out.

“Also it is not surprising that detention laws have been widely misused in Gujarat against Muslims. Of the total number of detainees held without trial in the country, 36% are in Gujarat. Incidentally, the Muslim population in the state is just 3.5% of the national Muslim population. These figures speak of the frightening communal hatred within the political leadership, the bureaucracy and even in the judiciary. Modi’s emergence as a virulent saffron mascot in 2002, was most natural in Gujarat,” he argued.

COURTESY : Caravan Daily


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