The Gujarat government on Friday began demolishing properties belonging to the people accused of being involved in violence that broke out during Ram Navami processions in Anand district’s Khambhat city, reported ANI. The administration claimed that the land has been encroached by the accused persons.

The violence erupted in Khambhat on April 10 and one person was killed as Hindu and Muslim residents had thrown stones at each other. Anand District Superintendent of Police Ajit Rajian had alleged that the violence was a “pre-planned conspiracy” hatched by a sleeper module to achieve the dominance of the Muslim community.

The police have arrested 11 persons in connection with the alleged conspiracy.

The Gujarat government’s decision to raze properties of those allegedly involved in the violence follows similar actions taken by the Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh administrations.

On Friday, District Collector MY Daxini said that apart from demolishing illegal constructions, the administration was also removing bushes in the Shakarpura area, where the violence had broken out, reported PTI. “Miscreants had used the bushes and thick vegetation to attack the procession,” Daxini claimed.

She said the encroachment drive will continue till the area is cleared.

“These are those encroachments which had come up on government land and against which notices were already issued in the past,” Daxini added, reported The Times of India.

Raijan said the police were helping the district administration with the drive.

The police had alleged that the perpetrators of the violence had planned to attack the Ram Navami procession and spread violence. They claimed that accused persons, identified as Maulvi Ayyub Malek and Vasim Malek, intentionally started arguing with the organisers of the procession and told them to turn off the music.

Raijan claimed that as the police were trying to resolve the matter, the main accused person directed others to start throwing stones.

Besides Khambhat, violence had also broken out in Himmatnagar city during a Ram Navami procession. Ten people have been detained in connection with the violence in Himmatnagar.

Violence was also reported in West Bengal, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand during Ram Navami processions. One person was killed in Jharkhand’s Lohardaga town and several others were injured across the country.

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