Communal violence in Baran in Rajasthan; Curfew clamped, Internet suspended

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Kota (Raj), Apr 11 (PTI) Dozens of vehicles and shops were torched and vandalised by mobs as communal violence broke out on Sunday in Chhabra town of Baran district following the stabbing of two youths, forcing authorities to clamp curfew and suspend internet.

Police used tear gas to disperse the violent crowds but members of two communities, armed with sticks, iron rods and weapons, continued the rampage late in the evening, even setting ablaze a fire tender and damaging public property including police and government vehicles.

'The situation is very tense. Violence by the mobs has been continuing and we are trying to control the situation,' Superintendent of Police, Baran, Vineet Bansal, who was at the site, said.

There was no immediate official word on any casualties.

Officials said additional forces have been called in and senior officials including Kota range DIG Ravi Gour have rushed to the area.

According to sources, two youths -- Kamal Gurjar (32) and Rakesh Dhakad (21) -- were injured in an attack by 4-5 youths of another community at Dharnawada circle on Saturday evening.

The youths were admitted to a hospital. The families of the injured along with Jat and Gujjar community members staged a dharna at Dharnawada circle on Saturday night demanding immediate arrest of the five accused.

While the police nabbed three of the accused late Saturday night, the key accused was not arrested.

The group resumed their protest on Sunday morning and called for a closure of shops.

The violence erupted when a group was marching through markets asking traders to close shops in Aliganj and Ajaj Nagar, and soon spread to other areas, the sources said Around 10-12 shops in Dharnawda Circle, Station Road, Ajaj Nagar and Aliganj area were set ablaze and a fire tender was torched along with a private passenger bus, cars and other vehicles in the evening, the sources said.

Baran District Collector ordered a curfew in the municipal periphery of Chhabra town from 4 PM on Sunday.

Internet has been suspended in the district till 4 PM on April 13, officials said. PTI CORR RT