Gujarat demolition drive protests turn violent

Updated on Oct 05, 2022 02:29 AM IST

The demolitions are part of a drive undertaken by the Gujarat government over the past few days to remove illegal structures from the state's Saurashtra region.

Porbandar, Oct 04 (ANI): Police personnel stop a crowd of locals over a demolition drive in Porbandar's Memonwada area on Tuesday. (ANI Photo) (ANI pic service)
Porbandar, Oct 04 (ANI): Police personnel stop a crowd of locals over a demolition drive in Porbandar's Memonwada area on Tuesday. (ANI Photo) (ANI pic service)

Local residents clashed with the police during a demolition drive against illegal encroachments in Porbandar city of Gujarat on Tuesday, a senior police officer said.

“The situation is under control now. There was some resistance from the locals over the demolition drive but the police has controlled the situation well. There is no major untoward incident and eight illegal structures have been demolished,” said A M Sharma, Porbandar district collector.

The demolitions are part of a drive undertaken by the Gujarat government over the past few days to remove illegal structures from the state's Saurashtra region, in a bid to quell security concerns. Demolitions have been carried out in the coastal belt — Beyt Dwarka, Porbandar and Gir Somnath — of the Saurashtra region over the last 3-4 days. The efforts began in the backdrop of several narcotics seizures in the area.

So far in Porbandar, eight locations including shops, houses, dargahs and Mazhars have been razed, according to a government official close to the development.

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In the nearby Gir-Somnath district, authorities razed 12 structures in Vadodara Zala village of Sutrapada taluka on October 2. “Recently, the police seized the drugs worth 5 crore in this area. In order to check such activities in future, the revenue department and the police department have demolished illegal structures,” the Gir-Somnath police said in a statement.

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About 130 kilometers from Porbandar, a massive operation is also underway at Beyt Dwarka island in Dev Bhoomi Dwarka district where encroachments were razed down by the authorities over the last four days. In all, more than 35 constructions have been demolished, including structures set up by Ramzan Gani Palani, an accused in a drug seizure case that pertains to narcotics valued at 800 crore, near Jhakhau coast in May 2019.

In a separate incident on October 3, the police arrested as many as 40 persons after clashes erupted between groups of Hindus and Muslims over the hoisting of flags on an electric pole Savli near Vadodara. They were all released later and the flags were taken down.

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