No arrest will be made in cases related to the last week’s violence till evidence against the suspects are examined, Rajkot city police commissioner Mohan Jha said on Wednesday.
The city had witnessed violence following the police crackdown on a Patidar rally in Ahmedabad on August 25. Mobs in Patidar-dominated areas such as the southern section of 150-feet Ring Road, Mavdi Road, Mavdi village and Nana Mava had torched BRTS bus stops, vandalised state buses and ransacked West Zone office of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC). The city police have registered 18 cases, so far, in connection with the violence.
“We have not arrested any person, so far, in connection with the violence…To avoid flare up, we have decided that no one will be arrested till the police commissioner or the joint commissioner scrutinises evidence against the suspect,” Jha said in a press conference.
Most cases (10) have been filed with Malviyanagar police, followed by Gandhigram (six). Kuavadva Road police and Taluka police have filed one FIR each. All of these complaints have been registered against “mobs”.
Jha said that the Crime Branch is analysing CCTV footage and action will be taken against rioters.
The commissioner’s decision comes two days after hundreds of women gheraoed Visnagar police station in Mehsana district, demanding release of a few men picked up by police in connection with the violence after the Patidar rally.
In Rajkot, police had to fire in air and resort to lathicharge to quell rioters. “We had to fire 10 rounds in air and lob 57 shells of teargas to disperse mobs. Twelve policemen, including a police inspector and a sub-inspector, were injured. However, nobody was injured in police firing,” Jha said. He said that according to panchanamas, rioters damaged public and private properties worth Rs 1.47 crore in Rajkot. The RMC was the worst affected by the violence, he added.