Thirteen persons, including two police officials, have been injured after clashes broke out between Hindus and Muslims during Ram Navami processions in Bihar’s Nalanda and Rohtas districts, reported PTI on Friday.

In Nalanda’s Bihar Sharif town, over 20 persons have been arrested in connection with the communal violence, said Superintendent of Police Ashok Mishra.

The police have also banned gatherings of four or more persons under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure after the clashes on Friday left 11 hurt, including three with bullet injuries, as well as several vehicles and shops gutted, reported PTI.

“We appeal to the people to stay calm,” urged Nalanda Magistrate Shashank Shubhankar. “We are also examining CCTV footage to identify and bring to book troublemakers.”

The police said that they were keeping a close watch on social media to thwart rumour-mongering.

In Rohtas’ Sasaram, the clashes first broke out between Hindus and Muslims during a Ram Navami procession on Thursday evening, reported India Today. The next morning, clashes erupted again with members of both communities throwing stones at each other.

“Several shops and vehicles have been torched or vandalised in areas like Shahajalal Pir, Sona Patti, Qadir Ganj and Navratna Pir where angry mobs also indulged in heavy stone-pelting, injuring many people, including two police personnel,” said the sub divisional magistrate.

A ban on the gathering of four or more persons has also been imposed. The police said they are patrolling the area.

“We are relieved that the situation is now under control,” said BJP MLA Chhedi Paswan. “Though we wish the administration had been more vigilant and proactive and not waited till things began going out of hand.”

The violence in Sasaram comes ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the town to attend a function on Sunday.

Besides Bihar, violence and communal tension were reported in Maharashtra, Telangana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat during Ram Navami processions. Most of the clashes erupted after the Ram Navami processions, playing songs on loudspeakers, passed through Muslim-dominated areas.

The violence is a repeat of incidents that were reported across several states last year on Ram Navami, the last day of the Hindu festival of Navratri. Following the incidents last year, authorities had demolished shops and buildings owned by the accused persons, most of whom were Muslims.

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From Bengal to Maharashtra, violence breaks out during Ram Navami processions, over 20 injured