Gujarat’s Navsari district has been tense since India’s defeat to West Indies in the World Twenty20 semi-final on Thursday.
Police have been conducting round the clock patrolling in Vansda town of Navsari ever since the communal clashes erupted between Hindu and Muslims on Friday.
On Friday night, according to Indian Express, a local resident Ankush Patel (18), and two of his friends were returning to their home at Champawadi area after playing cricket when they got into an altercation with five youths from Muslim community sitting on the main road who allegedly slapped Ankush.
This prompted Ankush and his friends to spread the news through WhatsApp and soon a huge mob gathered at Champawadi area on Friday night, damaged the shops, pan stalls owned by Muslims and set them on fire. The angered mob also burnt vehicles parked on the main road. The mob also pelted stones on a Dargah and a mosque in the Champawadi area.
Vansda police was quick to deploy forces in the riot-affected area. Navsari District Superintendent of police M S Bharada, who reached the spot with a battalion, made efforts to pacify the enraged mob, but it turned futile forcing the cops to resort to firing tear gas shells.
Local shops and businesses remained shut all throughout Saturday after the call for bandh by Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Banjrang Dal. Both organisations demanded actions against the five Muslim youth, who had allegedly slapped a Hindu boy.
Vansda police on Saturday arrested six youth namely Hussain Vohra, Mohsin Sidhat, Yasin Shaikh, Sohel Shaikh, Irfan Sidhat and Zakir Shaikh, all residents of Champawadi area in Vansada.
Meanwhile, a mobile shop owner, Javid Shaikh, also filed a complaint against Jitu Babubhai, Manish Dashrat, Piyush Babla and over 100 others for vandalising his shop and other shops in the area.
But, police has not made any arrests on his complaint.