A teenager was killed and four others were wounded after two groups clashed over a dispute in Kalika Plot area of Morbi town late on Saturday evening. Police said the boy, who was playing in the street, was hit by a bullet during the violence and died a hospital in Rajkot hours later.
Morbi police said the two groups faced off at around 7 pm and there was indiscriminate firing. “One boy was injured in the firing. He was rushed to Rajkot civil hospital but he succumbed to his wounds later on. Three other people also sustained bullet wounds and they have been admitted to hospitals,” Superintendent of Police of Morbi Karanraj Vaghela told The Indian Express on Sunday.
The deceased has been identified as Vishal Bambhaniya (13), a resident of Kalika Plot. The injured have been identified as Arif Mir, Imran and a 12-year-old girl. “Arif has been admitted at a hospital in Ahmedabad while the girl and the other person are being given medical treatment in Rajkot. The girl was hit by a bullet in her leg while she was returning home from school,” Ramji Chaudhary, police inspector of “A” Division police station in Morbi said.
Following the clash between the two groups, a crowd had gathered and they caught hold of one person and handed him over to police. “He was manhandled by the crowd and has been admitted to Rajkot civil hospital. We are treating him as a suspect. But we have not been able to ascertain his identity,” he said.
After the violence, State Reserve Police force was deployed in the area, which has limped back to normalcy on Sunday. “Arif Mir’s brother Mustak Mir was killed last year in a similar incident of violence. We suspect the same group was involved in the violence on Saturday,” he said.
Mustak Mir, a history-sheeter, was shot dead in 2017 during a clash in Kalika Plot. Hitubha alias Hitendrasinh Zala, a resident of Sanala village near the Morbi town, was arrested in connection with Mustak’s murder. Zala is presently out on interim bail.
“Both the groups were feeling insecure since Arif’s murder last year and that feeling of insecurity led to violence on Saturday. At least 16 rounds had been fired,” Chaudhary further said. The inspector added that a police team had gone to Ahmedabad to register Arif’s complaint.
However, the SP claimed that the violence was a result of hostilities between two families and that there were no communal overtones to the incident.