Mob violence followed stoning of a Ganesh idol procession
Four police personnel and five civilians were injured, and vehicles and one shop were torched in communal riots that erupted following an incident where stones were thrown at a Ganesh idol procession in the communally-sensitive Mandavi area of Vadodara on Thursday at around midnight.
During the procession in the area, suddenly a few stones were pelted, and simultaneously electricity went off in the locality. This led to a commotion, with mobs belonging to different communities hurling stones, and starting fires. “Around eight or nine vehicles were torched and one shop was burnt down,” a Vadodara police official said. “Police and fire brigade teams were rushed to the spot to control the situation that lasted more than 90 minutes.” The police lobbed more than 25 rounds of tear gas shells to disperse rioting mobs from both sides.
Following the incident, there was heavy police deployment to restore normalcy and ensure that the situation did not escalate.
“We have lodged an FIR in which 25 people have been named, including tow or three habitual offenders,” the police official said. “Arrests will be made very soon.” The police are also investigating the possibility of a conspiracy by some antisocial elements to provoke riots ahead of major religious festivals and holidays like Janmashthami, Independence Day, Navratra and Diwali.