A mob set two roadside cabins and motorcycles on fire in Khambhat town of Gujarat’s Anand district on Tuesday as communal clashes entered the third day, PTI reported. Five persons have been detained for the arson incident, Inspector General of Ahmedabad Range IK Jadeja said.
Some Hindutva outfits had organised a shutdown in the town on Tuesday to demand action against those who indulged in violence on the previous two days, Jadeja said. Several persons gathered at Gavara Chowk and staged protests, he added.
“While leaving the area, some of them torched two wooden cabins roadside and few motorcycles,” he said. “We have detained five suspects.”
Most schools, colleges and markets remained shut in the town on Tuesday. The situation was now under control as adequate police personnel had been deployed, Jadeja said. The deployments included two companies of the Rapid Action Force and four companies of the State Reserve Police.
Since Sunday, 85 people have been arrested for arson and stone-pelting. More than 20 houses and as many vehicles have been burnt by mobs since Sunday in the town.
The Gujarat government blamed “local demographic changes” for frequent communal clashes in Khambhat, and decided to impose the Disturbed Areas Act in some parts of the town, PTI reported.
“Such clashes are happening because of demographic changes,” state minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja said. “As demanded by the people of Khambhat, the government has decided to start the process of imposing the Disturbed Areas Act in areas where such incidents are happening regularly. We have taken this decision to stop further changes in the local demography.”
The law he was referring to is called the Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Property and the Provision for Protection of Tenants from Eviction from Premises in Disturbed Areas Act, 1991. It is aimed at preventing distress sale of properties in communally-sensitive areas.