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One Dead in Gujarat, Clashes in MP, Jharkhand & Bengal: Communal Colour Mars Ram Navami Celebration; BJP Blames Oppn for Violence

Incidents of communal violence were reported across many states including Gujarat, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh on the occasion of Ram Navami on Sunday. The fresh incidents of violence comes after tensions in Mulbagal in Karnataka’s Kolar district and communal clashes in Karauli, Rajasthan.

The processions are taken out on the occasion of Ram Navami to celebrate the birthday of Lord Ram. In the national capital, there were clashes reported between two groups of students in JNU over non-vegetarian food at a hostel.

Stones were hurled at a Ram Navami procession in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone city triggering incidents of arson wherein some vehicles were set on fire, prompting authorities to clamp curfew in three areas and section 144 of CrPC in the entire city.

Police fired tear gas shells to control the situation. Khargone superintendent of police Sidharth Choudhary and two police personnel were injured in the stone-pelting along with some people. Khargone District Collector Anugrah P said section 144 of CrPC (banning assembly of four or more people) has been imposed in the entire city.

“Curfew has been clamped in three areas including Talab Chowk and Tavdi in the city,” he said, adding that incidents of minor arson occurred following the pelting of stones. When the Ram Navami procession started from the Talab Chowk area near the district headquarters stones were pelted at the gathering, prompting the police to fire tear gas shells to control the situation. Some policemen and people were injured, said Khargone Additional Collector Sumersingh Mujalde.

TWO GUJARAT CITIES WITNESS COMMUNAL CLASHES

One person was killed and another one injured in a communal clash in Khambhat city of Gujarat during a procession taken out on the occasion of Ram Navami on Sunday, while Himmatnagar city in the state also witnessed violence between members of two communities during a similar event, police said.

The clashing groups indulged in stone pelting and arson at both the places and the police had to lob tear gas shells to bring the situation under control, officials said. While Khambhat city is located in Anand district, Himmatnagar lies in Sabarkantha district.

“The body of an unidentified man, who appears to be around 65 years old, was recovered from the spot in Khambhat, where two groups pelted each other with stones after a clash broke out between them during a Ram Navami procession late this afternoon,” Superintendent of Police Ajeet Rajyan said.

Another person was injured and a few shop cabins were set on fire by the miscreants during the incident, he said, adding that the situation was later brought under control using tear gas shells. The deceased appears to have died due to the injuries he suffered during the clash. Investigation into the incident is underway, Rajyan said. A similar clash was reported in Himmatnagar and police had to use tear gas shells to control the violent mob that damaged some vehicles and shops, police said.

JHARKHAND

Tension prevailed in Jharkhand’s Lohardaga district after incidents of stone pelting and arson during Ram Navami fair on Sunday in Hirahi-Hendlaso village. As per the information, some people started pelting stone on crowd during Ram Navami procession in the area. This led to a stampede and more than half a dozen people were injured.

Later people from both sides started pelting stones. As tension escalated, more than a dozen motorcycles and a pickup van were set on fire at the fair. Two houses have also been set ablaze near Bhogta Garden. Half a dozen people are reported to have been injured in stone pelting incidents. Two of these people, Manohar Sahu and Bhola Singh, have been admitted to the hospital in critical condition.

Top officials of the district administration say that the situation has been brought under control.

JNU

Two groups of students clashed at the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Kaveri Hostel on Sunday allegedly over serving of non-vegetarian food in the mess on Ram Navami, with police saying six students were injured in the incident. The two groups, however, claimed that over 60 students were injured from both sides.

The Left-controlled JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) and RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad accused each other of pelting stones and injuring their members. The Left outfits claimed about 50 of their members were injured, while the ABVP said their 10-12 activists were hurt. Several purported videos of the violence surfaced on social media, with one them showing Akhtarista Ansari, a second year MA student of Sociology, bleeding from the head. Officials have not confirmed the authenticity of the videos.

WEST BENGAL

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari claimed that a procession on Ram Navami was attacked by police in Howrah. He also said that many people have got injured in the police action. “Ram Bhakts aren’t safe in WB. Howrah Police Commissionerate personnel thrashed participants of a Ram Navami procession at Shibpur. Many got injured. Can’t Sanatani devotees practice their religion in this State safely?” he wrote on Twitter.

Adhikari further said that many participants of the procession were left injured after the actions of the West Bengal police. He further said that devotees are not allowed to practice their religion in the state.

BJP BLAMES OPPOSITION

BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla has questioned whether the attack on Ram Navami Yatras across states and clash in JNU was a “co-incidence or conspiracy.”

“Unprovoked attacks on Ram Navami Yatras started from Rajasthan & seen in Gujarat,Jkhand,Bengal,Madhya Pradesh & finally inside JNU. Co-incidence or conspiracy ? Attacks being justified by saying songs & flags were provocative/non veg was stopped!! Really?,” he questioned in a tweet.

“What started in Rajasthan’s Karauli has now become a pandemic. We have seen a series of unprovoked attacks on Hindus and Ram Navami Yatras in the country, be it Madhya Pradesh, be it Jharkhand, Bengal, Gujarat, Rajasthan and finally culminating in the attack in JNU itself… It is pushed and peddled by those, who in the name of vote bank politics, allow this Hindu hatred to be spilled on to the politics of the country,” the BJP leader said in a video message.

Sources: News18

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