Fresh communal clashes broke out in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur city on the morning of Eid on Tuesday, after tensions first erupted on Monday night, PTI reported.
A curfew was imposed in Udai Mandir, Nagori Gate, Khanda Phalsa, Pratap Nagar, Dev Nagar, Soor Sagar and Sardarpura, according to an order passed by Jodhpur Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajkumar Choudhary.
Police said that they had brought the situation under control on Monday. However, tensions erupted once again after Eid prayers on Tuesday after some men hurled stones near the Jalori Gate, the same site where the clashes took place on Monday. Some vehicles were damaged on Tuesday morning, PTI reported.
On Monday night, at least five police officials were injured as members of the Hindu and Muslim communities threw stones at each other over hoisting of a religious flag in the Jalori Gate area. A mob also took down loudspeakers that had been installed in the area for Eid prayers, according to ANI.
Additional Director General of Police Hawa Singh Ghumaria said that the incident took place around 11 pm, The Indian Express reported.
“There were flags of [Hindu deity] Parashuram near the area where namaaz is offered,” Ghumaria said. “There was a dispute about removing the flags as the local Muslim community puts up a flag [every year] on the occasion of Eid.”
Ghumaria added that since there is a mosque near the Jalori Gate area, the police did not allow a mob to gather, according to The Indian Express. “But while dispersing [the mob], tension escalated and there was stone pelting,” he said.
The district administration has suspended internet services since 1 am on Tuesday as a precautionary measure.
Rajasthan Chief Ashok Gehlot described the clashes as unfortunate. He said the administration has been instructed to maintain peace and order at all costs.
“While respecting the tradition of love and brotherhood of Jodhpur, Marwar, I make a touching appeal to all the parties to maintain peace and cooperate in restoring law and order,” Gehlot said in a tweet.
Gehlot directed state Home Minister Rajendra Yadav, Minister in-charge of Jodhpur Subhash Garg, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Abhay Kumar and Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Hawa Singh Ghumaria to travel to Jodhpur and take cognisance of the situation.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party state unit chief Satish Poonia said that some anti-social elements had put up Islamic flags on a statue of freedom fighter Balmukund Bissa. He condemned the incident and urged citizens to maintain peace, PTI reported.
BJP MLA Suryakanta Vyas had gone to the site where clashes broke out and said “we will not forget this”.
Union Cabinet Minister of Jal Shakti Ministry Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that the violence was unacceptable.
“It is the responsibility of the police and administration to maintain religious harmony and peace,” he wrote on Twitter. “We have to keep calm. Our first responsibility is to maintain peace in Jodhpur.”
Tension in Nagaur
In another incident, clashes broke out between two groups on Tuesday afternoon in Rajasthan’s Nagaur city over eve-teasing, The Times of India reported.
“It was alleged that some youngsters had passed remarks on the girl and were eve-teasing her,” Naguar Superintendent of Police Ram Murty Joshi told the newspaper. “This triggered a spat which resulted in a violent confrontation between two groups belonging to the same community.”
More than a dozen bikes parked on the road were vandalised. The police said it was not a case of communal clash.
“We have registered FIRs from both the groups and efforts are on to identify the miscreants,” Joshi said, reported The Times of India. “All the miscreants were dispersed by using force.”
On April 2, communal clashes had broken out in a Muslim-dominated area of Rajasthan’s Karauli city after a motorcycle rally passed through it, allegedly playing communally-charged songs, to celebrate the Hindu New Year.
In response, Muslims had allegedly thrown stones at the rally.The police had said that some people vandalised shops and vehicles in response to the stone-throwing. Thirty-five persons were injured in the violence.