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Clash over statue in MP: 19 held so far, situation peaceful, say police

Members of two communities had clashed and pelted stones at each other after a statue of former deputy prime minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was pulled down by unidentified persons in Makdone tehsil on Thursday morning. A total of 19 persons have been arrested so far in connection with the clash, said Additional Superintendent of Police ASP-Rural Nitesh Bhargava.

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Police have so far arrested 19 persons in connection with a clash over a statue in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district, and the situation is peaceful in the area amid heavy presence of cops, an official said on Saturday. Members of two communities had clashed and pelted stones at each other after a statue of former deputy prime minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was pulled down by unidentified persons in Makdone tehsil on Thursday morning.

A total of 19 persons have been arrested so far in connection with the clash, said Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP-Rural) Nitesh Bhargava. They have been booked for rioting and using criminal force to deter a public servant from performing their duty.

He said markets are open in Makdone, and the situation is normal in the town.

There is peace between both groups, but the police are keeping an eye on the situation, he said, and added that the status quo remains intact at the disputed site.

No injuries were reported in Thursday’s clash. However, it prompted authorities to deploy police personnel in large numbers in the Makdone area, located about 50 km from the district headquarters.

In a video of the incident, which went viral on social media, a group of people was seen pulling down the statue with a tractor. They wanted a statue of social reformer and the Constitution’s chief architect Dr B R Ambedkar be installed at the site, instead of Patel’s, police sources had said.

The statue of Patel was installed at a site close to the Makdone bus stand on Wednesday night, they said. Bhargava said on Friday that they were still trying to find out when the statue was installed.

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