40 arrested in Vadodara following communal clashes

The police in Gujarat's Vadodara has arrested at least 40 people in the wake of late-night communal clashes on Saturday between Hindus and Muslims following days of tension in the city.

40 arrested in Vadodara following communal clashes

Ahmedabad: The police in Gujarat's Vadodara has arrested at least 40 people in the wake of late-night communal clashes on Saturday between Hindus and Muslims following days of tension in the city.

The authorities have also suspended mobile phone Internet and bulk text messaging services till September 30.

As per reports, mobs belonging to the two communities pelted stones at each other and set fire to several vehicles.

The police had to resort to use of tear gas to disperse the crowds.

The government has also deployed paramilitary forces on the streets of Vadodara, which is just 110 kilometres from Ahmedabad.

Tensions started in Vadodara last Thursday following a post on social media website Facebook, which Muslims deemed as offensive.

According to police, mobile phone text messages and other social media had been used to spread messages about rioting and to inflame religious tensions.

"We have made 40 arrests since last night and will make more to quell the rioting," Reuters quoted SK Nanda, state's home secretary, as saying.

There was no clarity on the number of injured in the clashes.

The streets were calm on Sunday but the authorities nonetheless stayed alert.

"Not many people are out due to fear of recurrence of violence," said a senior state government official, who did not wish to be identified. "We are keeping a close eye on the situation."

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