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14 booked for communal flare-up

The incident was triggered when a group tried to hoist a saffron flag in front of a house located close to a mosque and a temple.

Written by Rohit Alok | Mumbai |
October 4, 2015 1:15:30 am

Tension flared up between two communities on Friday in a locality in Gaondevi Road but was contained in time, said Ghatkopar police. They have booked 14 people and deployed personnel in the area.

The incident was triggered when a group tried to hoist a saffron flag in front of a house located close to a mosque and a temple. Police said when the owner of the house, 40-year-old Naseem Bano Sheikh, wanted to uproot the flag, it sparked a ‘minor communal clash’. Police said they intervened and prevented the situation from getting worse.

Sheikh, who runs a travel business, said, “I told them it was communally insensitive and they mocked and dared me to bring it down. I took my kitchen knife and tried to cut the flag down. That’s when the stone pelting began.”

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Bhagwat Chowdhary, Assistant commissioner of Police (Ghatkopar Division), said two FIRs have been registered.

“One FIR booked Sheikh, two other women and three male youths, while the second FIR names eight youths from another community for creating trouble. All the accused have been charged with unlawful assembly, rioting, provocation, breach of peace and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code. Most were released on bail on Saturday evening, which was set at Rs 15,000 per person by a magistrate court in Vikhroli,” Chowdhary said.

Noorjahan Sheikh (45), named in the FIR, claims to have intervened because Sheikh was fighting alone. “My fault as told to me by police is that while separating Sheikh from the others, I had a baton in my hand. I was using it earlier to wash clothes but police claim it was my weapon,” she said.

“We have a video clip that shows the women’s involvement…,” Chowdhary added. According to the police, more than 80 people gathered but no weapons were used.

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“At least 20 injured were taken to Rajawadi hospital but no one was seriously injured,” said a police officer. Police are recording statements of witnesses and have deployed 20 police personnel at the spot. Sheikh said she wanted to file a defamation case against the youths belonging to the other community. The video of Sheikh trying to cut off the flag is circulating on social media platforms.

rohit.alok@expressindia.com

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First published on: 04-10-2015 at 01:15:30 am
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