Over 40 people were arrested after violence erupted on Sunday, 17 January in the Kutch district of Gujarat, and three cases were filed to look into the incident. The communal clashes left many, including policemen, injured and were also allegedly responsible for one death.
The conflict between the two communities broke out in Kidana village when a procession to collect funds for the Ram Mandir construction was underway, the police informed, according to NDTV. The “Rath Yatra” was reportedly organised by right-wing group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
NDTV quoted an injured cop as saying that "loud religious slogans were raised... that provoked another community" leading to a conflict involving "swords and sticks" and arson.
The police, in response, used tear gas shells, several rounds of tear smoke cells and stun grenades to quell the violence.
Kutch (East) Superintendent of Police Mayur Patil said, “After the rally, the body of a migrant worker from Jharkhand was found about 200 metres from the clash site in Kidana village, and the police are trying to ascertain if he was killed as part of that violence.”
He further added that the man killed was from Jharkhand and was travelling in an auto-rickshaw when a mob of 40-50 unidentified persons carrying lathis (wooden sticks) attacked the rickshaw, The New Indian Express reported.
The SP said, “The victim died of knife injuries. How he received the injuries is yet to be ascertained."
The police also informed that the mob did not have the permission required to carry out Sunday’s rally, NDTV reported.
According to Satish Jha, a Journalist with Deccan Herald, the members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad planned to demonstrate at district police office on Tuesday, demanding release of ‘innocent’ men.
(With inputs from NDTV and The New Indian Express)
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