Fresh incidents of stone pelting were reported in Himmatnagar of Sabarkantha district in Gujarat late on Monday night, a day after several people were injured in a clash between communities during the Ram Navami procession in the area, the police said. Ten people were detained following the incident, officers said.

A curfew under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is currently in place in Himmatnagar till April 13 following an order by district collector Hitesh Koya, and troops of the Rapid Áction Force (RAF) as well as the State Reserve Police (SRP) have been deployed in the town to restore law and order, officers said.

On Monday night, around 11 pm, incidents of stone-pelting between communities were reported in Vanzaravas area of Himmatnagar town after which the police fired tear gas shells to disperse the mob, officers said.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday morning, Sabarkantha superintendent of police Vishalkumar Vaghela said, “After the police received information of stone-pelting in Vanzaravas, teams were rushed to the spot to control the situation. The police also fired tear gas shells to disperse the stone pelters. We have detained 10 anti-social elements and an FIR is being lodged in the matter. The RAF, SRP and local police have been deployed in the area.”

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On Sunday afternoon, clashes between communities occurred in the Chhaparia area of Himmatnagar when a Ram Navami procession was passing through. Over 15 persons, including four policemen, were injured in the incident and a few vehicles and ships were set ablaze.

On Monday afternoon, a peace meeting between the communities was organised under the leadership of Gandhinagar inspector general of police Abhay Chudasma and district collector Koya.

A clash between communities also occurred in Khambhat town in Anand on Sunday afternoon during a Ram Navami procession, which resulted in the death of a 57-year-old man. The police detained nine persons in the case and lodged two first information reports (FIRS).

“We appeal to the people of Anand district not to believe in any false message or rumour on social media regarding the attempts to disrupt peace made by anti-social elements in Khambhat and Himmatnagar. Anyone found circulating such instigating and false posts on social media will be dealt with strictly. Cyber police have formed different teams to keep a watch on different social media websites,” read a statement from Anand police on Monday.

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