Two policemen and three others were injured as groups of two communities clashed in Prabhas Patan area of Veraval town near the famous Somnath temple in coastal Gir Somnath district on Tuesday morning. The rioters also set a number of vehicles on fire and looted a few shops, police said.
Groups of two communities came face-to-face at around 9 am after a few individuals from the two communities had an argument at Shiv Chowki area in Prabhas Patan, sources said. The groups indulged in stone-pelting and arson, police said.
“Police brought the situation under control immediately by lobbing at least six teargas cell and resorting to lathicharge. Two police constables sustained minor injuries after they were hit by stones. They have been hospitalised. According to primary information, the rioters also set five to six motor-bikes and other vehicles on fire,” superintendent of police of Gir Somnath district, Vishal Kumar Vaghela told The Indian Express.
However, Gir Somnath collector Chandu Patel confirmed at least three persons from the rioting mob were also injured. Sources said a few shops were also looted.
“Reinforcement have been called from neighbouring Junagadh and Porbandar districts and one company of State Reserve Police Force from Rajkot has also been deployed. The situation is under control. We are investigating as to what sparked off the clashes,” Vaghela further said.
Prabhas Patan is a seperate village but it is governmed by joint municipality for Veraval and Prabhas Patan. The famous Somnath temple is located near Prabhas Patan.
Prabhas Patan police station offcials said they were in the process of registering an FIR in connection with the violence.