Seven persons, including a policeman, were injured in an attack on a Garba event by a mob consisting of members from the Muslim community who objected to holding of the programme near a mosque in Gujarat’s Kheda district, police said on Tuesday.Police baton-charged the suspected attackers arrested in the case by holding them against an electric pole in the village square in full public view.
Video clips purportedly showed three persons arrested for allegedly pelting stones on participants at the Garba celebration on Monday night in Undhela village of the district being brought out of a police van near the event’s venue.They were then taken towards an electric pole and held against it by a policeman who pulled their hands. Another policeman is seen hitting them below the waist with a baton.
The images showed the alleged attackers apologised to the public gathered at the spot with folded hands after policemen asked them to do so. People present in a large number at the site cheered the police action. Police have arrested 13 persons so far after a First Information Report (FIR) was registered at the Matar police station, said Deputy Superintendent of Police V R Bajpai.
Police were deployed in large number at the village following the incident, he added. “The village Sarpanch (head) had organised Garba (a popular Gujarati folk dance) at a temple. A mob from the Muslim community tried to stop it from taking place," Bajpai told reporters.
The mob pelted stones and at least seven persons, including a Gram Rakshak Dal (GRD) jawan and a policeman, were injured, he said."The FIR says a mob of 150 people, including women, attacked the group performing Garba by pelting stones. As per the FIR, 43 of the accused have been identified by their name," the official said.
The arrested accused were booked under sections of the Indian penal Code (IPC) related to attempt to murder, rioting, unlawful assembly and voluntarily causing hurt, among others."The Sarpanch had organised the Garba event at the village temple on ashtami (eighth day of Navratri), but a mob tried to stop the function," DySP Bajpai said.
“A group of people led by two men identified as Arif and Zahir entered the Navratri Garba venue and started causing trouble. They even threw stones," said Kheda Superintendent of Police Rajesh Gadhiya."We have deployed police force in the village to main peace," he said.
As per the FIR, members from the Muslim community in the village objected to the Garba being organised near the mosque which is located across the temple.A group of people gathered at the venue at around 11:30 pm and started hurling abuses at the revellers and asked them to pack up. More people joined them and the mob started pelting stones when the revellers continued to play Garba, said the FIR.
Some of them were armed with sharp weapons, sticks and they pelted stones at the temple, said the FIR.