A 62-year-old civilian was killed and at least four police officials were injured in Gujarat’s Junagadh district on Friday during a protest against the demolition of a mosque, reported The Indian Express.
The police have detained 174 persons in connection with the protest. A purported video on social media has shown police publicly flogging men at the mosque. However, the police have not yet confirmed or denied the incident, according to The Indian Express.
Alleging encroachment, the Junagadh Municipal Corporation had issued notices to the Geban Shah Masjid on June 14, asking its caretakers to show papers within five days, according to Superintendent of Police Ravi Teja Vasamsetty.
Inspector General of Police MA Chavada, however, clarified that although the notices were dated June 14, they were pasted on June 16. “On June 16, nearly 500-600 people gathered near Majewadi gate, upset over the notices,” Vasamsetty said.
Vasamsetty said that the police tried remove blockades and convince the crowd to disperse. But, he said, that someone threw stones at the police after which the officials baton-charged the crowd, reported The Indian Express.
“Five tear gas shells and dye marker grenade shells were used by the police for dispersal of the crowd as well,” he added. “During this, DySP [deputy superintendent of police] Junagadh was injured as was PSI [police sub-inspector] Kinjal Maru. Injuries were also sustained by two more PSIs and some other police staff. All are safe and none are critical.”
On the death, the police claimed that he died in the stone-throwing. “He was an innocent bystander and was not part of the mob,” Chavada added.
The police said they are making efforts to arrest all those involved in the protest.
Chavada added that a first information report has been filed on charges of unlawful assembly, murder, attempt to commit murder, arson, causing grievous hurt with dangerous weapons, loss of property by mischief, criminal conspiracy, causing hurt and deterring a public servant from duty, assaulting or obstructing public servant when suppressing riot and knowingly joining or continuing in an assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse.