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Violence Spreads in Gujarat, Curfew Imposed in Surat, Mehsana

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AHMEDABAD: Members of Patel community resorted to arson, stone-pelting and vandalism after brief detention of their 22-year-old leader Hardik Patel, following which curfew was tonight imposed in three towns of North Gujarat and some areas of Surat.

As the news of detention of Patel spread, violence broke out first here and later spread to other cities like Surat, Mehsana, Rajkot and some interior areas of the state. He was later released.

Paramilitary forces like State Reserve Police Force, BSF and Rapid Action Force have been deployed in cities like Ahmedabad and Mehsana. However, no casualties have been reported in the state so far.

In Ahmedabad, city buses and police posts were set on fire, while stone-pelting was reported from various parts of Gujarat, state control room officials said.

Police had to resort to lathicharge and lob teargas shells to control the situation.

Curfew was imposed in Mehsana city, about 90 kms from here, and Unjha and Visnagar towns after widespread incident of arson in which attempts were also made to set on fire residence of Gujarat Minister of State of Home Rajni Patel.

“Curfew has been imposed in Mehsana city, Unjha and Visnagar town after incidents of violence in Mehsana district,” Mehsana’s District Collector Lochan Sehra told PTI.

Sehra said the Mehsana district administration has also called in paramilitary forces to control the situation.

Surat Police have also imposed curfew in Kapodara and Althan areas of the city after angry mob took to the streets and resorted to violence and arson.

“Violence has been reported in many parts of city today. We have imposed curfew in Kapodara and Althan areas of city, as violence was more widespread in these two areas. We are trying our best to control the situation,” Surat City Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said.

In Rajkot, angry mob reportedly ransacked two offices of Union Minister of State for Agriculture and local MP Mohan Kundariya, city police control room officials said, adding, these offices are located in Kalavad Road and Karanpara areas.

Apart from that, mob have either torched or completely ransacked almost all the BRTS bus stops in the city during late night violence, police said.

It is also learned that a large number of people have blocked highways connecting nearby towns and districts.

PTI