According to the police, a brawl between members of the two communities on Sunday evening during the Ganesh idol immersion procession snowballed into a violent communal clash on Monday night.
Six persons, all belonging to the minority community, were arrested by Local Crime Branch of Anand police on Thursday in connection with the rioting and communal clashes at Kherda village that erupted during the Ganesh idol procession on Sunday and left the deputy sarpanch of the village dead.
The police FIR had named 24 accused — 12 belonging to the Muslim community and 12 from the Hindu community — for the clashes. Those arrested have been identified as Farooq Malek (34), Manwar malek (57), Firoz Khan (33), Salim Malek (29), Rehmat Malek (20) and Imitiazmiyaan (28).
Meanwhile, heavy police force continued to be deployed in the village for the second consecutive day. Senior police officers said that the police bandobast will continue at Kherda village till “law and order situation in the area gets normal”.
READ | In Gujarat, Anand village tense after deputy sarpanch dies in communal clash
The situation became tense on Wednesday after deputy sarpanch Mahendra Bhoi, who was injured in the communal clash on Monday, succumbed to his injuries. Sources said after the news of Bhoi’s death reached the village, families of the minority community fled. Kherda has a population of around 3,000, with less than 10 per cent people belonging to the minority community.
According to the police, a brawl between members of the two communities on Sunday evening during the Ganesh idol immersion procession snowballed into a violent communal clash on Monday night. The brawl had started over a controversial Gujarati song that was played on loudspeakers during the Ganesh idol procession, and which was objected to by members of the minority community.
While police immediately contained the situation and the Ganesh procession went ahead peacefully, clashes erupted a day later when members of the two communities clashed with wooden sticks and iron rods. A car and an autorickshaw were set on fire by the mob. In the violence that ensued, Bhoi was severely injured after being hit by an iron rod on his head. He died on Wednesday morning.
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