A mob late Tuesday torched a State Reserve Police’s makeshift post and seven motorcycles belonging to SRP personnel deployed near an open plot at Morarji Chowk, a Muslim neighbourhood, where the Gujarat Housing Board (GHP) has proposed construction of affordable housing scheme.
The incident took place around 11 pm when around 3,000 people gathered for namaz at a mosque near the plot, recently barricaded with metal sheets. According to police, violence erupted after SRP personnel stopped people from parking their vehicles on the plot.
Locals said police picked up more than 80 people after the violence and released most of them by Wednesday evening. A total of 28 people were named in an FIR, while 10 were arrested for attempt to murder, rioting, arson and loot among other charges.
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The local police inspector has been transferred and the case handed over to the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB).
The FIR stated that a 3,000-strong mob “in a pre-planned conspiracy” hurled bottles of petrol and burning rags on police personnel. “There was an attempt to burn policemen alive. Private vehicles of policemen were also burnt,” it said. The FIR stated that two containers, belonging to the private contractor, were also gutted.
Locals said tension was prevailing in the locality since construction work began on the plots several months ago and policemen were deployed to stop people from parking vehicles there. It was reported that some people tried to break the fencing, which led to violence.
“The manner in which the incident occurred, we can say that there was a conspiracy behind it. We have arrested 10 people,” said DCP Deepan Bhadran.