Communal clashes in Valmiki Nagar, 26 held
By Tousif Khan - Sun Oct 09, 1:49 pm
Mumbai : Hindu-Muslim clashes broke out in Valmiki Nagar in Bandra (East) around 11.30 pm on Friday. The clashes occurred when members of one community objected to a girl’s alleged relationship with the boy of the other community. The police have arrested 26 people in connection with the clashes.Police officers said they received a distress call at about 11.35 pm, informing them of the incident. A team comprising four constables and an officer of inspector rank rushed to the spot. In the melee that followed, the irate mob assaulted the policemen. All of them were injured and rushed to the hospital.
The mob then burnt about four motorcycles and a car. While members of the Hindu community claimed they were not responsible for the riots, the Muslim community too refused to take the blame. As both communities blamed each other, they continued their assaults on each other.
Senior police officers said they had to ensure that the clashes did not spread. “We had to stop the rioters and ensure that the incident did not escalate any further. Our officers rushed to the spot and calmed the situation down. We arrested 26 people,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Western Region) Vishwas Nangre-Patil. The police have booked the arrested persons for rioting.
“They have also been booked for assaulting a public servant, arson, damaging public property and many other offences. We are also in the process of arresting several others involved in the riots. We will arrest them soon. Our case against them is strong,” said Nangre-Patil.
The Rapid Action Force (RAF) was also deployed in the area after the police swung into action.The RAF remained on the spot on Saturday as well although no fresh trouble was reported. “The RAF were with us for Navratri festivities. We did not call them for this incident. We used them to ensure that law and order is maintained in the area,” Nangre-Patil said.
The police are now investigating how the mob was instigated. “This is a case of a relationship being exploited to start clashes. Our investigations are on,” he added.