Three persons were killed and six injured after a minor verbal spat between two groups turned into a communal clash in Pratapgarh district in southern Rajasthan.
The clash broke out in Kotadi village when late Tuesday night a group of young men got into a spat with another group. Within minutes, crowds supporting each group gathered at the spot. The matter escalated when some people opened fire. This led to an exchange of fire and stone pelting between both groups, police said.
The youths who started the gunfire then rushed to a neighbouring village, Moheda, and in subsequent rounds of firing injured some people. This further incited the villagers and the clashes spread. Several kuchha houses and shops were set ablaze yet again on Wednesday.
Additional forces were rushed to the spot and a special team headed by Inspector General Anand Shrivastava was dispatched to take charge of the situation. Curfew was imposed by the district administration and the situation was brought under control only by late evening.
Raja Khan (20) of Kotadi and Bhanwar Singh (50) and Dinesh Kumar (25) of Moheda succumbed to their injuries while six people were admitted to a hospital in Udaipur. The families of the three victims refused to take the bodies home and sought compensation from the state government.
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Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje appealed to the locals to maintain peace and harmony and not get carried away by rumours.