The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Quarrelling women set off clashes

Ahmedabad, Oct. 2: Police opened fire to quell clashing mobs in Bhavnagar city today as fresh violence broke out between two communities. At least eight persons were injured.

Trouble erupted this afternoon when women belonging to two communities got involved in a minor altercation. Local youths soon joined the scrap and began pelting stones, turning the quarrel into a violent clash.

Bhavnagar district police superintendent Anupam Singh Gahlot said the police were forced to fire 15 rounds as the tension spread to adjoining localities with mixed populations. While one person was injured in the police firing, seven were wounded in the heavy stone throwing.

The police rounded up seven persons from the spot. More arrests would follow later, Gahlot said, adding that the situation was immediately brought under control. Tight security has been enforced in all trouble-prone areas in and around the city.

Reports coming in said that tension also gripped Piplav town in Anand district yesterday afternoon after a clash broke out between members of two communities at the Piplav bus stand. Six persons were injured.

Police officials said the incident was a sequel to the one in Sojitra, near Anand, about a week ago when some persons from Piplav had assaulted local residents. To avenge that attack, about 25 youths belonging to the minority community hired a tempo, landed at the bus stand and started assaulting local youths with hockey sticks.

In Vadodara, two persons were injured late last night when two groups clashed in the Navapura area, pelting stones at each other. The incident occurred after some persons from the majority community damaged a handcart owned by a member of another community.

The police had to lob 15 tear gas shells to control clashing groups in the area. They have also launched a combing operation to arrest the miscreants who seem determined to create fresh communal disturbance.

Over the last 10 days, there have been intermittent clashes in Vadodara, with several incidents of stone throwing. The police, which have so far been prompt in controlling the violence, say these are isolated incidents. So, curfew has not been imposed anywhere.

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