Communal tension continued to escalate in Vadodara Sunday as two more cases of clashes were reported from the city. The pattern of the clashes suggested that the violence was spreading beyond the walled city areas. On Saturday, one stabbing incident was reported from the city even as the police suspended mobile data services till September 30 to pre-empt rumour-mongering through social media.
Meanwhile, the Navapura police arrested one Sanjay Bagh in connection with the Saturday’s stabbing of a 28-year-old man. The police said Bagh is a a BJP worker, who also used to be in bootlegging.
Following the continued instances of communal violence, city police authorities arrested around 80 people, charging them with rioting. At the same time, sources said, six senior IPS officers, who have worked in the city earlier, have been specially called in to help local police maintain law and order.
On Sunday, the first incident of communal violence was reported at around 3 pm from Kaladarshan Char Rasta on Waghodia Road when a 28-year-old tea vendor, Shailesh Rajput, was attacked by masked assailants. The victim was returning to his tea stall from home after having lunch break. He sustained multiple stab injuries on his back. He was rushed to hospital for treatment even as anger and fear prevailed among locals in the absence of any police presence. Immediately, a unit of the SRPF was stationed there.
The second incident of communal violence was reported from Mangal Bazaar, where a 48-year-old trader, Mahendra Dangi, was attacked in Yakutpura. He sustained injuries on the back of his head and his left ear was slashed. He was rushed to SSG Hospital where his condition was reported critical but stable. Dangi, an employee of the municipal corporation, told the police that his colleague, Balwant Singh, was also attacked.
Apart from these two incidents of communal violence, the sources said, one more incident was reported from Mangal Bazaar where a trader was attacked by unidentified persons though the victim chose not to go to the police and report the incident.
Police Commissioner E Radhakrishnaiah said, “There has been one incident of stabbing this afternoon and we have received the names of some suspects. So far, over 80 people have been arrested for rioting since yesterday.” The city has remained on the edge since communal riots began Thursday evening after the circulation of an objectionable image of a deity on WhatsApp.
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