BARODA: On the eve of religious festival, the old city of Baroda went into flames as a communal riot resulted in destruction of vehicles and properties. This riot which occurred , on Thursday night , as the religious festivals are to begin is considered as the bad omen for Gujarat.
Police fired 39 tear gas shells. This is a major communal riot reported from Gujarat after surprising win of Congress leader Ahmed Patel in Rajya Sabha elections in a very keenly contested election. Several vehicles were torched in ‘Mandavi’ area. Rumors spread which created more panic in the city.
Police has reportedly booked offence against 2700 people under various sections of IPC. It is reported that ‘Ganpati’ procession was going through a locality when electricity went off in the area. The procession was accompanied with DJ & loudspeakers. What went after the failure of electricity in the area is not clear, but riots broke out thereafter. Some police sources said that a controversy over the use of loudspeaker or DJ in the procession sparked the riots.
Circumstances however indicate intelligence failure as well as failure of Police and Government Officials in apprehending as well as dealing with sensitive situation. Local citizens of Muslim dominated area on the contrary helped police to control the situation. The Ganpati idol was left by the processionals.
Local Muslims saw to it that Ganpati idol was protected. After normalcy was brought in the area, local Muslims helped police to transport the Ganpati idol to a safe place. This co-operation of local Muslim citizens was acknowledged and appreciated by City Police Commissioner Shri Sashidhar.
He claimed that city was brought to normalcy in a very short time and situation was not allowed to go beyond control. He also said that the city police plans to organize inter-community public meetings to ensure that coming religious festival season also passes off peacefully .