Gujarat returns to normal after Patel community protests

  • Debasish Panigrahi, Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
  • Updated: Aug 28, 2015 17:02 IST
Security personnel keep an eye on traffic along an arterial road in Surat on Thursday. (PTI Photo)

Following two days of widespread arson and violence by the agitating Patidar community that claimed eight lives, the situation was slowly returning to normal in the nerve centre of Gujarat on Thursday. The heavy deployment of security personnel ensured that no major incident of violence was reported in the city during the day.

While most shops and business establishments in the worst-hit areas remained closed, schools and colleges all over the city were ordered shut by the district collector. The Army conducted flag marches in five of the nine police station areas where curfew continued to be in force.

Joint commissioner of police (intelligence) Siddhraj Sinh told HT on Thursday that no untoward incident was reported since Wednesday midnight when the rioters set fire to some vehicles in the cover of darkness. Elsewhere in the state, curfew continued to remain in force at places like Mehsana, Surat, Kalol and Unjha.

Earlier during the day, vehicles kept off the roads and residential areas wore a deserted look following the bandh call given on Wednesday.

The city slowly came back to normal as the day progressed and by evening the roads were bustling with traffic as people came out for their Raksha Bandhan shopping.

However, in areas like Naroda and Kalol, people preferred to stay indoors all through the day.

JCP Sinh said five army columns, several companies of BSF and paramilitary forces continued to be deployed in the city along with 13,000 personnel of the city police force.

The police till Thursday evening had registered 36 cases of rioting and arson and taken 21 people into custody. The police said 103 rounds had been fired to quell violence. Nearly 500 tear gas shells had been used in the police action while over 50 vehicles and several bust shelters had been torched by the rampaging mob.

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