The communally sensitive old city area of Vadodara witnessed a breach of peace, late on Sunday after two communities reportedly clashed during the coinciding Navratri celebrations and Muharram rituals. According to eye witnesses, stone pelting ensued after a brick was hurled at a Tazia procession undertaken by local Muslims near Koyali Faliya area of Fatehpura in the walled city. Soon, groups from both communities came face to face and attacked each other.
Several units of the city police also rushed to the site to calm the situation. A senior officer said, “The incident occurred after 10:30 pm when a Tazia procession was passing close to a Hindu neighbourhood. Locals claim that a miscreant hurled a brick at the procession and the misunderstanding led to a clash. However, due to prompt police action and heavy rains simultaneously, the crowds dispersed and the situation was brought under control.”
Commissioner of Police, E Radhakrishana, said, “We have learnt that the spontaneous stone pelting began when a Tazia procession was passing through the area. We are examining if this procession had sought police permission. If not, they will be booked for violating notifications. The city is peaceful as the police has brought the situation under control. It was not an adverse incident but a minor clash. We are analyzing the CCTV footage to identify the miscreants.”
According to officers, close to a dozen tear gas shells were lobbed near Adania Pul to disperse warring mobs. Later, an incident of stone pelting was also reported from Yakutpura. Senior police officials said that while the whole area has been cordoned off to prevent any escalation of tension, investigation has been started about the cause of the first clash on Sunday.