A day after bloody clash between two communities in Surendranagar district killed two, the deceased were cremated under heavy police bandobast on Monday evening. The police have launched a manhunt to nab around 130 accused named by both the sides in the two separate FIRs.
On Sunday evening, a major clash erupted between the two groups at Bhawanigadh village of Muli taluka in Surendranagar district. One of the groups open fired at the rival group in which one person was killed while 16 sustained bullet injuries. In retaliation, the other group killed one person and injured another from the rival group.
Hours before the clash, a police team had reached the village following a tension. However, after the police team left the village, the groups attacked each other over an old land dispute. In the incident, Karshan Amarsinh Koli, 35, and Ukabhai Popatbhai Bharwad, 60, from the two groups got killed on the spot.
“The situation is normal in the village. Both the deceased were cremated under our watch. We are combing the village and its neighbouring area to catch the accused persons,” said Surendranagar Superintendent of Police R V Asari. He said that apart from local police, around 50 SRP jawans have been deployed in the village.
According to police, the reason behind the incident are various land disputes between the two communities. One of the group is said to have encroached upon land belonging to the rival group because of which tensions have always prevailed in the village.
“People from one community has built their homes whose areas are spread in the land belonging to the other community. On Sunday, on the occasion of Janmashtami, a girl had gone to the temple when she heard some people from the other community abusing some people of her community. She told this to her family, following which a large number of people assembled in the village with weapons, including country-made guns, that triggered the incident,” Asari said.
Local sources said that one of the communities had not only encroached residential land, but also land where coals are being mined. This particular community mined coals illegally and sold them off that is one of the biggest reasons behind the clash. “Tension has been brewing between the two communities for a very long time that resulted in Sunday’s violence,” a local source said. Two of the injured have been shifted to VS hospital in Ahmedabad. One of them is said to be critical.