Kosamba town in the Surat district of south Gujarat was plunged into communal tension on Tuesday evening, following the killing of a VHP activist.
Local ‘cow protection committee’ member Jaswantbhai Darbar was killed in a clash with a group of people at the slaughter house when he had gone there to inquire into a reported incident of cow slaughter.
As news of the killing spread, more than two dozens shops belonging to the minorities were set ablaze by mobs in the evening. Heavy stone-pelting between mobs of both communities followed.
A large contingent of police from Surat has been dispatched to the town, which was described as tense but under control.
Political observers here have expressed apprehensions that the run-up to the assembly elections would see a rise in the number of such clashes which have the potential to degenerate into communal tension and resultant polarisation between the two communities.
Such incidents include attempts to ‘rescue’ Hindu girls married to members of the minorities, demonstrations by parents of students getting poor marks in Christian-run schools, minority boys running into temples to pick up a cricket ball and such trivial matters.