Police officers cordon off Ranchi-Itki Road near Pandra on Saturday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, Aug. 4: Police today arrested the autorickshaw driver who had refused to give a ride to four youths that triggered a clash between two communities at Pandra on Thursday night.
Sources in the police said that Anish Khan, who was also suspected of inciting youths in the locality to get involved in the fracas, was nabbed near Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences this morning. He had gone to the hospital for a check-up after complaining of chest pain.
“Khan wanted to get admitted to the hospital to evade police action. But we arrested him. As he was complaining of chest pain, he was kept in hospital but in police custody,” a police officer at Bariatu said.
City superintendent of police Vipul Shukla confirmed the arrest, saying Khan “was wanted since yesterday after police came to know about his role in the Thursday night clash”.
He added more arrests were expected by late tonight.
Meanwhile, Pandra market remained shut for the second consecutive day following the clash.
One of the warring groups hit the road this morning warning all businessmen of dire consequences if they opened their shops anytime before all the youths of the locality who were involved in the clash were booked.
The group blocked Ranchi-Itki Road at three places and damaged a few vehicles that were trying to cross the stretch.
Police resorted to lathi-charge and chased the troublemakers, fearing their presence and the blockade might lead to violence.
After they dispersed, two companies of police were also deputed in the area to maintain law and order and ensure regular patrolling.
Meanwhile, Usha Gupta, mother of Ayush Raj alias Chotu (16) who was injured in the clash, met Shukla, asking the police to ensure proper medical attention to her son and arrest the culprits.
“I am a poor woman running a shop provided under the public distribution system of the government. My son is a victim of the clash and is undergoing treatment at Gurunanak Hospital for head injury. Kindly make arrangements for his treatment and save him. Punish those who attempted to kill him without any reason,” she pleaded.
On Thursday night, a group from outside had attacked a mohalla in Pandra after Khan, a resident of the locality was manhandled for refusing to ferry the four youths.
Three to four youths sustained injuries from both sides during the clash that followed.
With tension palpable in the area in the wake of the incident, traders were compelled by a group of youths to shut shops yesterday.