One person was killed and at least two others were inured in a violent clash that broke out between two caste groups in Shaktinagar village near Halvad town of Morbi district on Thursday evening. Police say the clash was related to alleged murder of one Indrasinh Zala in Dhrangadhra taluka of neighbouring Surendranagar district last week. Halvad police said that the trouble began at around 4 pm when some people pelted stones on cars of those who were on their way to nearby Dhrangadhra town to attend condolence meeting of Zala. Those in the car stopped their vehicles and retaliated, leading to a bloody clash, police said.
“One person has been killed, prima facie in firing. Police have not opened fire so we suspect he could have been killed in private firing. Two to three other persons have also been injured,” Jaipalsinh Rathore, police superintendent of Morbi district told The Indian Express. The Halvad police identified the victim as one Rana Shiyar (45), a resident of Golasan village in Halvad taluka of Morbi district. He was declared by a doctor in Halvad at 5:30 pm, police said. There also reports of rioters setting fire to some cars and around two dozen motor bikes parked in Shatkinagar village near Halvad town.
The SP said that the clash was related to the acrimony created between two caste groups since alleged murder of Zala on July 7. “Caste member of Zala were on their way to Dhrangadhra to attend his condolence meeting when people from the other caste group started pelting stones on their vehicles. This led to violence. However, the situation is under control now. Police has been deployed and rioters have been dispersed,” said the SP.
Later in the evening, Minister of State for Home, Pradeepsinh Jadeja told a local news channel that SRP had been deployed in Dhrangadhra and Halvad and that mobile internet services had been suspended in Mobri and Surendranagar districts. He further said that inspector genral of police of Rajkot range had reached Halvad and that the situation had been brought under control.
Zala was associated with the BJP and had also been elected president of Halvad municipality. However, he was booked for alleged murder of one Popat Bharvad in Dhrangadhra town in 2012 and was jailed. When he was out on interim bail, he and his family members were allegedly attacked by a group of around 14 men near Dhrangadhra town last Friday while they were on their way back home after holidaying in Rajasthan. Surendranagar police say that Zala was murdered to avenge the alleged murder of Bharvad. So far, Surendranagar police have arrested one person in connection with Zala’s murder.
Incidentally, a day after Zala’s murder, Surendranagar and Dhrangadhra towns had witnessed violence as mobs torched vehicles and cabins.