Clashes erupted between two communities in Madhya Pradesh's Neemuch on Monday night, 16 May, after a Hanuman idol was allegedly installed near a dargah.
The installation led to violent clashes with instances of stone-pelting and arson by an enraged mob, which resulted in the mosque being set ablaze. Neemuch Superintendent of Police (SP) Suraj Kumar Verma later confirmed the same.
On being asked who desecrated the religious place, the SP said that the police hadn't ascertained that yet. "We are looking at the CCTVs to identify the miscreants who desecrated the mosque."
One person was reportedly injured in the stone-pelting incident. Section 144 has been imposed in the area and the Neemuch police have registered 4 FIRs including one suo motu FIR. Nine people have also been rounded up for inquiry.
"A total of 4 FIRs have been registered, one on the complaint of Muslim community, 2 from Hindu community and a suo moto FIR in the case. We have got information about the injury sustained by one boy named Younus in the last night's clash. He has been taken to the Udaipur hospital [sic]," SP Verma told The Quint.
"We have rounded up 9 people for inquiry so far. The investigation is underway and more might be taken into custody. Prima facie it looks like a pre-planned event, due to the installation of the idol, however, it is yet to be ascertained if it's a conspiracy or not," Verma added and said that the situation had been brought under control. He said that cops had not received a distress call since 10 pm of Monday night.
More About the Clashes
The clashes reportedly broke out over the installation of a Hanuman idol near a dargah in the Purani Kachari (Court Mohalla) area, which falls under the Neemuch city police station.
Earlier, Verma had confirmed the incident and said:
"In the Neemuch City police station limits some people installed a new Hanuman Idol at the Dargah. Due to this both communities had gathered and there was a scuffle going on. They were called to the control room for further talks. In the same case some nuisance mongers, young boys pelted some stones damaging a few motorcycles [sic]."
A person named Younus Khan was reportedly injured in the stone-pelting incident. He has been taken to Udaipur by his parents.
However, the police had earlier said that they haven't received any information about civilian casualties.
"We have not received information about anyone getting injured yet. We have posted police in proper numbers and people have been advised people to stay indoors. Action will be taken against those found violating these guidelines," the SP added.
The police also used tear gas to disperse the mob.
The SP had earlier said, "Due to stone-pelting, some motorcycles were damaged. We have not received any information of any civilian injury."
The locals, meanwhile, claimed that the mosque was set ablaze by the enraged mob.
Earlier, the SP said, "Patrolling is underway and a survey is also being done if any damage is found or claimed necessary action will be taken."
Not the First Incident of Communal Disturbance
Earlier, in October 2021, the Bhedabhan shrine, situated nearly 70 km from the district headquarters, was also allegedly attacked.
The 70-year-old caretaker of the shrine, Noor Shah, had claimed that explosives were used to damage the shrine. However, there was no official confirmation of the usage of explosives.
Following the recent clash between the two communities, Additional District Magistrate, Neha Meena, imposed Section 144 in the area.
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