On Friday, a clash broke out between two communities in Akbarpur village of Anand district in Gujarat, shortly after the conclusion of Friday’s Jumma Namaz in a local mosque. Reportedly, Hindus and Muslims clashed in the area and one Hindu, who has been identified as Vinod F. Chawda, lost his life during the violence.
As per initial reports, a minor fight led to the violence being aggrevated among the Hindu and Muslim community of the Gujarat village. Even though the police have not yet confirmed the reason behind the clash, reports suggest that the scuffle allegedly broke out over “flying kites”. The conflict between Hindus and Muslims had reportedly started on the occassion of Uttarayan where Hindus usually fly kites to celebrate the festival.
It is also being speculated whether the violence was fuelled by the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), given that similar instances of chaos have followed after Jumma Namaz on Fridays.
Gujarat: A clash broke out between two groups in Khambhat, Anand district. Reema Munshi, Deputy SP says, “The two groups pelted stones at each other, police used rubber bullets & lathicharge to disperse them. The situation has been brought under control”. (24.01.20) pic.twitter.com/HAzsCtWu69
— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2020
The violence resulted in stone pelting, following which the police had to resort to shelling tear gas and lathi-charge. The mob also burnt down a dozen houses. One local resident by the name of Vinod F Chawda was shot dead, though there is no confirmation whether he was shot dead by the mob or lost his life in the police action. A villager, however, alleged that the deceased was not a part of the mob and had nothing to do with the violence.
At this point, it remains unclear whether Chawda was shot by the police or the violent mob. The situation is now under control and investigation is underway. Police deployment too has been increased heavily.
The police have claimed that the violence has been brought under control after they fired tear gas and resorted to lathi-charge.
This is not the first time when a mob resorted to violence in Gujarat. In December last year, a Muslim mob had attacked a police van during Anti-CAA protests led by Jignesh Mehvani.