Tension griped Gujarat on eve of Bakri Eid when people of minority community pelted stones at police team that was undertaking a combing operations in communally sensitive Shahpur area of Ahmedabad city on Sunday evening, police said.
Over a dozen tear gas shells were fired by police following stone pelting by a group of people, they said, adding, following the incident on eve of Eid-ul Adha (Bakri Eid) additional security forces and rapid action force (RAF) have been deployed in the area.
The incident took place when the a group of people from the minority community pelted stones at police team which had increased patrolling in area. The situation has been tense since Saturday when the police had intercepted a vehicle carrying calves in Shahpur area. According to police, the calves were being taken to slaughter houses ahead of Bakri Eid for sacrifice. In Gujarat killing of any cow progeny is banned by law and is a punishable offence.
“The incident (of stone pelting) happened when a few local crime branch official had come to arrest some persons in Shahpur area. We had to fire a tear gas shell to control the crowd which was pelting stones at the police officials ,” Ahmedabad police commissioner Shivanand Jha told mediapersons.
A few round of bullets might have also been fired by the police to disperse the mob, I do not have the exact number,” Jha said, adding that a couple of police personnel were also injured during the stone pelting.
“Now the situation is under control. We have deployed additional forces in the area. We appeal the people to remain calm and do not pay heed to any rumors. Tomorrow is Bakri Eid and we want the people to celebrate the festival in peace,” he said.
Jha further said that he had a meeting with local leaders who have assured them full support. “All the local leaders are with us in maintaining peace and calm in the area ahead of the festival,” he said.
Local community leader and legislator Gyasuddin Sheikh said that the incident was triggered by rumors. “The entire incident of stone pelting was triggered by rumors and misunderstanding between the people and the police. The situation in under control and we are extending all our support to the police to maintain peace in the city ahead of the Bakri Eid festival,” Sheikh told reporters.