Violence in 7 States on Ram Navami: One Dead in Gujarat, One in Jharkhand
Reports of unrest and violence emerged from MP, Gujarat, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Goa, Mumbai and Delhi.
Violence, stone pelting, and arson were reported from several states in India on the occasion of Ram Navami on Sunday, 10 April.
Reports of unrest and violence emerged from Khargone and Barwani in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Goa, Mumbai, and even Jawahar Lal Nehru University in Delhi, where several students were injured.
Ram Navami is celebrated every year to mark the birthday of Lord Ram.
We take a detailed look at the reports of violence:
One person was killed, and another sustained injuries as a communal clash erupted in Gujarat's Khambhat city during a Ram Navami procession on Sunday. A 65-year-old died after succumbing to injuries that he sustained during the clash.
A similar clash also ensued in the Himmatnagar city of the state. Officials said that the fighting groups pelted stones and engaged in arson attacks at both places.
Police had to use tear gas shells to bring the situation under control.
Violence and stone pelting were also reported from Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh, and now a curfew has been imposed in parts of the district. Madhya Pradesh Minister Narottam Mishra said that 77 people have been arrested so far.
A large number of security forces have also been deployed in the area, with a senior official saying that a ban has been imposed on the gathering of a large number of people.
"We have started from the area near Mohan talkies, Khargone, three establishments were demolished in the area and we are moving forward to other areas to carry out similar drives as per our policy of zero tolerance of violence," Tilak Singh, DIG Khargone, said.
Sources told The Quint that when the procession was being conducted, people of a particular community took objection to the music being played in the celebratory march, following which the matter escalated, and stone pelting broke out.
Violence was reported from the Talab Chowk and Tavdi areas of Khargone, while incidents of arson and vandalisation of vehicles were also reported from the district. Purported videos of the area around Talab Chowk mosque show a mob pelting stones at the mosque.
Apart from this, stones were pelted at a procession coming from village Madgaon in Sendhwa, about 70 km from Barwani district headquarters. Some shops and vehicles were also damaged and two bikes were also reportedly burnt. A police officer was also injured during the stone pelting.
Jharkhand's Lohardaga district also witnessed stone-pelting and arson attacks during Ram Navami processions. One person died while at least 12 were critically injured due to the clash. The region continues to be under heavy police deployment.
Meanwhile, the Lohardaga district administration said on Monday, 11 April, that one severely injured man had succumbed to his injuries. The deceased was a resident of the Latehar district.
"Additional forces have been deployed. Senior officers including two DIG and three SP are deployed in the area. The situation is being monitored and action is being taken accordingly. Section 144 has been imposed in the affected area," Jharkhand Police said.
Meanwhile, in Phusro Rajabeda of Bokaro district, about two dozen youths were injured after stones were hurled at them while they were on their way to join a Ram Navami procession. Three to four people were reported to be injured in the incident.
Reports of communal clashes also came from West Bengal's Howrah city. The clashes reportedly took place in the Shibpur area of the city, and police have been deployed in large numbers to control the law and order situation there.
Overall, ten people were injured, with one being in critical condition. Several shops were ransacked as well. The police had to resort to lathi-charge and has arrested 17 people in the matter.
The opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has meanwhile alleged that police attacked some persons who participated in the Ram Navami procession.
Opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari alleged that the police were thrashing the people participating in the Ram Navami procession.
"In Shivpur, Howrah, on the occasion of Shri Ram Navami, when Ram devotees took out a procession, the constable and officer of Howrah Police showered them with sticks. Some were also seriously injured. Is following Sanatan Dharma prohibited in this state?" he tweeted.
There were reports of a ruckus from Bankura in West Bengal as well. Local police had asked the people taking part in the procession to follow the law and advised them not to march in front of a mosque. However, those people refused and made their way by removing police barricades. According to the police, some people also pelted stones.
Clashes broke out between the two communities in the Baina area of Vasco on Sunday evening.
Youths from Sancoale carrying a two-wheeler procession alleged that they were pelted with stones from the top of a house in the Islampur-Baina area. In retaliation, eyewitnesses said that youth from the majority community went to the minority-dominated area and allegedly assaulted a local youth. This resulted in verbal clashes between the two groups.
However, the minority community youth denied pelting stones and complained that the attack on him was unprovoked. Later, the Vasco police rushed to the spot and brought the warring groups to the police station.
Some 15-20 miscreants ransacked 20 to 25 vehicles in the night and escaped in the Mankhurd area of Mumbai. Videos of the same have gone viral on social media. However, the police has not yet confirmed the rift between the two communities.
Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil has said that some people are trying to spread riots in the name of caste so that they can take advantage of it.
Many such cases in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, have come to light, where attempts are being made to create differences between the two religions.
Clashes broke out between students of Jawaharlal Nehru University over non-vegetarian food being served in a hostel mess on Ram Navami on Sunday, 10 April. Meanwhile, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Monday.
Members of the ABVP, a right-wing students organisation, allegedly "badly attacked and injured students" who had eaten meat in the Kaveri hostel mess, as per a statement released by the All India Students' Association (AISA). Visuals emerging from the university showed students bleeding on Sunday evening, with some also allegedly requiring emergency hospitalisation.
The row allegedly ensued over ABVP members stopping Kaveri hostel residents from having non-veg food for dinner and also assaulted the mess secretary over the issue. The JNU Students' Association (JNUSU) blamed the ABVP for "forcing and attacking the mess committee to change the dinner menu and exclude the usual non-vegetarian items in it for all students."
On the other hand, the ABVP has accused 'leftists' of creating a ruckus and obstructing a Ram Navami pooja celebration. Videos also showed students engaging in heated arguments, requiring the intervention of university guards.
Miscreants pelted stones at a Sri Rama Shobha Yatra procession at Mulbagal in Karnataka’s Kolar district on Friday night, 8 April, the police said.
The police took five people into custody and imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 in Mulbagal.
The Shobha Yatra is organised on the eve of Ram Navami.
The Yatra began from Shivakeshava Nagar and was heading towards Jahangir Mohalla. Around 7:40 pm, the police said, the power supply got shut down, after which miscreants pelted stones at an idol of Ram being carried in the procession.
Later, a bike was set ablaze and the windshields of two cars were damaged, the police said, as per The Indian Express.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.