Three persons were hit by bullets as police opened fire to control a violent mob which had gheraoed a police station and had been pelting stones at the building in Bhuj town of Kutch late on Sunday evening. Nine policemen were also seriously injured in the violence, officials said.
Police said crowd started amassing at B Division police station in Bhuj on Sunday evening as the news spread that the man who was arrested from Mandvi taluka of Kutch for allegedly posting objectionable comments against a community and its faith on a social media site was brought there.
The community members demanded that the man be either handed over to them or police beat him in front of them.
However, police refused to grant the demand saying it was illegal. Leaders of the community urged the crowed to disperse saying their demand was illegal but the mob only got bigger and started pelting stones at the police station building. The police lobbed teargas shells at the crowd and then fired in the air. But the stone pelting continued, forcing police to open fire at the mob, police officers said.
Inspector General of Police of Border Range in Bhuj, Kutch, AK Jadeja said police lobbed eight shells of teargas and fired 12 rounds from bullets.
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“While three persons, two from the mob and one passerby, have been hit by bullets in lower parts of their bodies. They have sustained injuries on their legs and hands. On the other hand, nine policemen have also been grievously hurt in the stone-pelting,” SP of Kutch West police, DN Patel said.
The SP said on Monday that the situation in the town was peaceful and totally under control.
The violent mob also damaged police vehicles parked on the police station compound. The injured were undergoing treatment at general hospital and a few private hospitals in the city.
Following the violence, heavy police deployment was made in Bhuj town. Police said companies of state reserve police (SRP) had also been pressed into service besides calling police personnel from other areas of Kutch West and Kutch East police.