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BJP Alleges Stone-Pelting at Hanuman Shobha Yatra in AP's Nellore, Police Deny

Visuals, reporters, and even the police have refuted the claim that beer bottles were thrown at the procession.

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Edited By :Ahamad Fuwad

BJP leader Sunil Deodhar on Monday, 25 April, alleged that stones and bottles were pelted from an 'illegal mosque' during a ‘Hanuman Sobha Yatra’ that was conducted in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore on Sunday. The police, however, has categorically denied such claims.

"Alarming Situation witnessed by Hindus yest’day in Nellore when stone pelting happened from Illegal mosque on ‘Hanuman Sobha Yatra’ also beer bottle was thrown on idol! Shame! YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, how long are you going to test the patience of Hindus? AP need buldozer justice," Deodhar, who serves as the BJP's co-incharge of Andhra Pradesh, said in a tweet, tagging Home Minister Amit Shah.

The allusion 'bulldozer justice' points to the recent 'anti-encroachment' drives held in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat, where alleged illegal settlements were demolished after communal clashes broke out in the states.

Right-wing social media influencers and propaganda websites such as OpIndia wrote about the alleged stone-pelting and bottle-throwing based on Deodhar's tweet.

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Nellore Police Deny the Claims

Superintendent of Nellore Ch Vijayao Rao has denied the claims, saying that the march was conducted peacefully, "On 24 April, a Shobha Yatra took place in Nellore city. It went off very peacefully. It started at 4 pm and concluded at 5:45 pm, approximately. The procession went off very peacefully. Almost 5,000 people participated in the bike rally, youth participated."

"At one point, they crossed a mosque. When it reached the mosque, the DJ was made a little louder and bike horns were made. Slogans of 'Jai Shri Ram' were chanted. The youth inside the mosque also said 'Allahu Akbar'. Except for that, there was no throwing of stones or bottles, and no clashes. No such instances happened."
Nellore SP Ch Vijaya Rao

The Quint spoke with a journalist working for ABP News, Srinivas, who covered the procession. He said that no beer bottles were thrown at the procession and added that there was no visual evidence from the ground which corroborated this claim.

We also accessed some videos that show the altercation that happened at the mosque from different angles and none of them showed any stone pelting.

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    Scenes from the altercation at the mosque.

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

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    Scenes from the altercation at the mosque.

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

The videos can be seen here, here and here.

'National Leaders Attempting To Blow Incident Out of Proportion': YSRCP

YSRCP MLA Abbayya Chaudhary condemned the claims made by BJP leader Deodhar, calling them immature, and emphasised that the yatra had been conducted peacefully.

"There was some misbehaviour, some culprits tried to throw stones, tried to disrupt the Hanuman Shobha Yatra. Immediately, the police department acted on it and brought the situation under control and the yatra continued peacefully," he said in a statement.

"Nowhere in Andhra Pradesh, nor in Nellore was there anything communal... everything is very peaceful. What surprised everybody was the way national media, national leaders tried to blow it out of proportion," he continued.

The row comes after a spate of communal incidents in Delhi, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh, where clashes broke out between members of two communities on the occasions of Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti.

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Edited By :Ahamad Fuwad
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