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Rajput-Bharwad clashes: Death toll reaches three

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Ahmedabad: With one more person succumbing today to his injuries sustained during clashes between Rajput and Bharwad communities in Morbi and Surendranagar districts, the death toll in the violence has climbed to three, said the police.

Following the death of one Khetabhai Bharwad at civil hospital here, police in both the district have been put on alert to avoid any further altercation, they added.

“A person who was injured in the clashes near Halvad town of Morbi district died at civil hospital during treatment. As a precautionary measure, we have put our forces on alert.

Internet service is also suspended once again in Morbi and Surendranagar district” said Surendranagar Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar Meghani.

Following the violent clashes between the members of both the communities on July 13, so at least 13 persons have been arrested from both the districts, he added.

Earlier on Thursday, one person of Bharwad community died of a bullet injury in Halvad while another Bharwad man, who was attacked with a sword at a village near Dhrangadhra of Surendranagar, succumbed to his injuries on Friday early hours.

Upon learning about Khetabhai’s death today, large number of Maldhari community members gathered at the civil hospital and demanded strict action against those involved in the alleged killings of these men.

“We will not claim the body until we get justice. We also want the government to take action against the policemen who have failed to save our people during clashes,” said community leader Shambhu Rabari.

The flare up began at Halvad when members of the Rajput community had an altercation with Bharwads while they were going to Dhrangadhra for a condolence meeting of Rajput leader Indrasinh Zala, who was hacked to death on July 6.

Clashes in Halvad then spread to some parts of Dhrangadhra.

Zala, a former president of Dhrangadhra municipality, was in jail since 2013 in a case of murder of a Bharwad community member and was hacked to death a day after he was released on parole.

Since then, the situation was tense in the region.

—PTI