Maharashtra: Violence in Jalgaon after Hindu procession plays music in front of mosque during namaz
Clashes were also reported in Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar, Vadodara and Howrah on the occasion of Ram Navami.
A clash broke out on Tuesday between Hindus and Muslims in Paldhi town of Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district after songs were played on loudspeakers in a religious procession while namaz was being offered at a nearby mosque, ANI reported citing the police.
Incidents of violence were also reported in Maharashtra’s Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar (earlier known as Aurangabad), Gujarat’s Vadodara and West Bengal’s Howrah.
In Jalgaon, four persons were injured in the violence, said Jalgaon Superintendent of Police M Rajkumar.
Two first information reports have been registered on charges of rioting and assaulting government officials and 45 persons have been arrested, the police said, according to The Indian Express.
The incident occurred when a Hindu religious procession headed from Jalgaon to Vani in Nashik district passed the Paldhi village. The police said that an argument broke out between members of the two communities over loud music being played in front of the mosque. The argument led to a scuffle that escalated into stone pelting, the police said.
The police superintendent claimed that the music was shut down when the procession crossed the mosque. “However, when the music was restarted after the procession crossed the mosque, there was stone pelting at the procession,” Rajkumar told The Indian Express.
In a press release, the police said that the situation was soon brought under control. Nine Hindus and 63 Muslims have been named in the FIRs.
Meanwhile, residents of the area have alleged that the homes of Muslims were looted during the violence. The police, however, have denied the charge.
Jalgaon is one of the several cities in Maharashtra where Hindutva groups have made hate speech against Muslims during rallies held over the last couple of months.
At such a rally in Jalgaon, Sudarshan News Editor Suresh Chavhanke had said that he was in the state to ensure that a law against “love jihad” is passed. “Hindu youth should take morchas to mosques and madrassas where Muslim boys are taught how to fool our sisters,” he had alleged.
“Love jihad” is a conspiracy theory peddled by Hindu supremacist groups that claims that there is an plot by Muslim men to seduce Hindu women in order to convert them to Islam.
How ‘love jihad’ rallies are spreading hate against Muslims in Maharashtra
In Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar, 12 persons, including 10 police personnel, were injured after a mob of over 500 persons hurled stones at them on Wednesday night, reported PTI. They also torched 13 police vehicles in the city’s Kiradpura locality.
Police Commissioner Nikhil Gupta said that violence began after a clash took place between two groups consisting of four-five persons.
“After some time, one group left the place and the police soon came to the site,” Gupta said, according to PTI. “After an hour, a mob gathered there, bringing stones and petrol-filled bottles along, which they threw at the police personnel.”
Clashes in Vadodara, Howrah
In Vadodara, a clash was reported between Hindus and Muslims during a Ram Navami procession in the city on Thursday, reported The New Indian Express.
The incident took place when the procession, led by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal, reached the city’s Fatepura Road. The Bajrang Dal said that stones were pelted at the procession.
Additional Commissioner of Police Manoj Ninama said that no one was injured in the stone-pelting, the Hindustan Times reported. “We have deployed armed personnel from regular police, crime branch, SOG [Special Operations Group] and State Reserve Police Force,” he said. “We have ordered an inquiry into the incident.”
Meanwhile, in Howrah, several vehicles were set afire after a clash erupted between two groups, reported NDTV. The violence broke out soon after a Ram Navami procession crossed the area.
Videos on social media showed several vehicles burning and heavy police deployment in the area.