40 Held after Communal Clashes over Flag Hoisting in Gujarat Town

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A tussle ensued with members of the majority community objecting to Muslims installing a green flag next to the saffron flag hoisted by some Hindu groups.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – The police in Gujarat’s Savli town have filed two FIRs and arrested 40 persons after communal clashes broke out over members of the minority community putting up flags on electricity poles on Saturday.

A tussle ensued with members of the majority community objecting to Muslims installing a green flag next to the saffron flag hoisted by some Hindu groups.

A report published in The Quint said, “The Muslims in the area did not want to create any trouble by taking down the saffron flag. Hence, they decided to erect a green flag next to the saffron one on an electric pole. They even used a bamboo stick for this and ensured that the saffron flag remained untouched.”

However, this goodwill gesture on the part of the Muslims was of no avail as the members of the majority Hindu community took offence to a green flag being hoisted right next to a saffron one.

The FIRs were filed against 43 persons from both the communities. While 25 persons were arrested from one community, 15 others were held from another. However, the police did not specify as to which community constitutes the majority of the arrested.  

“The minority community has a festival coming up soon, and therefore, a local youth group had put up flags on bamboo sticks, fastened to the electricity poll. It did not go down well with other groups as there is a big festival coming up Wednesday in which the majority community has also planned a huge procession. Many rioters were nabbed immediately and they have also identified other miscreants from the footage,” a police official was quoted by Indian Express as saying.

According to reports, armed mobs took to the street and vandalised private vehicles and shops. There was heavy stone pelting between the groups. But luckily no one was injured.  The situation came under control after several teams of the police force rushed to the spot. The police have arrested some people on the spot.

According to Vadodara Superintendent of Police Rohan Anand, all the accused in the case have been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections for unlawful assembly (143), uttering obscene words in a public place [294(B)], rash and negligent act that can endanger human life (337), criminal intimidation [506(2)], and mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees (427).  

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