Communal clashes were reported from Kidana village in the Kutch region of Gujarat on Sunday evening. A group of people pelted stones upon a procession being taken out to collect funds to build the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
According to the Times of India, the situation first turned tense in Sadau village of Mundra taluka before spreading to Kidana. Kutch range Inspector General of Police (IGP) JR Mothaliya told TOI, “A huge mob had gathered during the rath yatra and there was stone pelting. We also lobbed tear gas shells and the situation is under control now.”
The procession or ‘rath yatra’ was organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). A riot like situation followed the stone pelting. There were reports of arson, with an auto-rickshaw and two bikes being set on fire. Police resorted to tear gas shelling to control the crowd and prohibitory orders were passed under section 144.
It is noteworthy that communal clashes were also reported from Chandan Khedi village near Indore a few weeks ago during a similar procession to collect funds to build the Ram Temple. It was also reported that the civic administration bulldozed homes of alleged stone pelters in retaliation. The demolitions were purportedly carried out for a road-widening project, but Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra was quoted as saying, “Jahan se pathar aaenge, wahin se toh nikale jaaenge,” meaning stones will be extracted (demolitions) from the places where stone pelters live.