A communal clash erupted in Balisana town, Patan district, Gujarat, on the night of July 16, over a controversial social media post related to the Bollywood movie ‘The Kerala Story’. The incident left eight people injured, and ten individuals have been arrested so far, according to police reports on Tuesday.
Authorities have not disclosed the specific content of the social media post that triggered the violent confrontation, but sources indicate that it pertained to the aforementioned Bollywood movie.
Inspector J S Chaudhary of Balisana police station confirmed the arrest of ten individuals, representing both sides of the clash. Eight suspects were apprehended on Monday, while two, including one Krish Patel, were arrested on Tuesday. The accused are facing charges, including rioting, assault, and attempt to murder, as per the registered cases.
As part of their investigation, the police conducted a “reconstruction of the crime” exercise at the Masjid Chowk area in Balisana, where the incident occurred. A video of this activity circulated on various social media platforms.
Deputy Superintendent of Police KK Pandya assured that the situation in the town is now under control.
“Some people were upset because a person from the town had posted something on social media. This post eventually led to a communal clash on Sunday night. Eight persons were injured in the clash. We have taken complaints from both sides,” said Pandya.
According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by Arif Shaikh, he and his uncle Ilyas Shaikh were attacked by Krish Patel and Nimesh Patel, despite having previously reached a compromise with another youngster over the contentious social media post.
Arif Shaikh claimed that the Patel duo assaulted them with a steel rod and pelted stones.
In response, one Meetkumar Patel filed a cross-complaint, accusing a mob of around 35 people, including the Shaikh duo, of attempting to murder him and five of his friends at Masjid Chowk.
According to Patel’s FIR, the attack was in retaliation for the social media post uploaded by a village youngster.
The police are continuing their investigation into the matter and monitoring the situation closely to prevent any further escalation of communal tensions in the region.