Petty quarrel turns communal: Mob gheraoed, vandalised Muslim homes in Gujarat

VADODARA: A petty quarrel over game between children belonging to different communities escalates and turned into a communal clash in Gujarat’s Anand district on Sunday evening.

According to reports, the incident took place in the Akbarpur locality in Khambhat town, on February 24, at around 3 pm. Noticeably, out of 52 people accused of rioting and arson, 35 names are of Muslims.

An eyewitness who saw the incident narrated that at least 50 men from Chunara community gheraoed homes of Muslims in Akbarpura and had resorted to heavy stone pelting and set six houses of Muslims on fire.

Muslims retaliate with stone pelting that had continued for nearly hours.

Police reach the spot and fired seven rounds in the air and lob 22 tear gas shells to stop the irate crowd. An FIR against 52 people has been registered along with a mob of 800 to 900 from both Muslim and Chunara communities.

Noticeably, out of 52 people accused of rioting and arson, 35 names are of Muslims.

“People who lost their homes and were victims of violence have been named in the FIR. This phenomenon is not new. Following riots in Vadavali, Patan in 2017, cases were filed against Muslims,” Advocate Shamsad Pathan, Who is also the convener of Alpsankhyak Adhikar Manch, was quoted by the News Click as saying.

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“Interestingly, role of an outfit named Sriram Sena formed about three years ago in Khambat is being played down,” he said.

In a video below, Muslim women accused the police of allegedly barging into the house and dragging out the innocent youngsters. She further alleged of pleading before the police but their pleas fell on the deaf ears. They accused police of falsely implicating and arresting at least 40 youngsters belonging to minority community.

Akbarpura is a communally sensitive area in Gujarat, where such clashes have happened in 2012, 2015 and 2016. Two days before the incident, a similar clash had surfaced in Lal Darwaza area of Khambat over a petty dispute of playing DJ.