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Are clashes rising in Gujarat due to Narendra Modi's absence?

By Avinash

Vadodara violence
Until recently the main cause of riots used to be murders, controversial/morphed photographs or provocative videos being circulated on social media amongst other reasons. But recent incidents of clashes in Gujarat's Ahmedabad and Surat shows that even sale of beef in a particular area may take a communal colour if the administration doesn't take the matter seriously.

One more thing that comes to our notice is deteriorating the law and order situation in Gujarat ever since Narendra Modi shifted to Centre. Narendra Modi, who has the only blemish of 2002 Gujarat riots, in his 12-year long tenure as Gujarat's Chief Minister had ensured that the state never get a chance to witness communal tension. It was Modi's leadership which created fear in every anti-social element to not disturb the peace in the country.

But it seems with the fear factor gone, the leadership in Gujarat is finding it hard to control the law and order in the state. Violence in Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Surat, Bhavnagar and several other places in the state not only shows that fear of administration has decreased amongst the goons, bootleggers and anti-social elements. And now they even dare to attack the cops.

Cops were attacked by mob in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and now Surat. Bullets were fired, stones were pelted and crude bombs were hurled by protesters at the cops. This hints at two things, either people have lost the respect for the law and their faith in cops or the police is forced to act by vested interest groups to target a particular community which is in return showing its anger towards them.

In both the cases of Ahmedabad and Surat police was attacked by a mob after cops went for a crackdown on sale of beef in the region.

If one goes with the police's version then locals attacked them just because they were trying to nab those involved in the illegal sale of beef. But, the mob has accused the cops of cooking up the stories.

As per an Indian Express report, residents of the areas are saying that an alleged nexus between local Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists and police is there behind triggering the violence in the regions.

It must be noted that, ever since the BJP government has come to power, the right wing Hindu group has been constantly raking up the issues of love jihad, ban on cow slaughter, ban on conversion of Hindus to other religions.

Residents of Ahmedabad's Shahpur Rangila Chowky area, which is a communally sensitive area, VHP men accompanied officials from the Detection of Crime Branch during a search operation for suspects involved in the alleged cow slaughter.

As per the Indian Express report, according to government sources, these police raids were conducted following pressure by VHP activists on the local security apparatus. On October 2, the VHP had submitted a representation to Ahmedabad Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha, claiming that his force was not doing enough to prevent cow slaughter.

The VHP activists have been reportedly saying that they would set up surveillance points to check the sale of beef and trafficking of cattle. The Ahmedabad police had rounded up some VHP activists following these protests.

Also on Saturday, the VHP held protests against cow slaughter in Dariapur, another communally sensitive area, with activists declaring that they would set up surveillance points to check the sale of beef and trafficking of cattle. The Ahmedabad police had rounded up some VHP activists following these protests.

The VHP has denied any role in this entire case but the way things are being handled by cops certainly raises questions over Gujarat government's approach. Repeated incidents of communal violence being triggered for same reasons certainly bring the state government as well as the cops under the dock. A bigger question also arises that why such cases have started coming to fore in the state after Narendra Modi left Gujarat and handed over the reins to Anandiben Patel.

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