At least 30 protestors and 20 police officers were injured after clashes broke out during demonstrations in Rajasthan’s Udaipur in support of Shambulal Regar – the man (pictured above) arrested for killing a Muslim labourer in Rajsamand town, burning his body and circulating videos of the gruesome murder on social media last week.
By Thursday evening, more than 50 people were detained. The police clamped down on protestors in the city’s Chetak Circle area around noon, and later near the district court around 2 km away, Udaipur Additional Superintendent of Police Brajesh Soni told Scroll.in.
Some of the protestors pelted stones and damaged police vehicles, officers said. Through the day, smaller protests were reported from a few other parts of the city.
The protests are believed to have started after a Facebook post written by one Updesh Rana started doing the rounds on Wednesday. Soon after, the government imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 in Udaipur and suspended internet services. On Thursday morning, the police detained Rana in Jaipur after he arrived from Uttar Pradesh. The police are looking for another person, Kanhaiya Lal Vagri, who also allegedly circulated messages on social media.
The police said most of the protestors they detained were residents of villages around Udaipur. None of them were released at the time this report was filed.
The demonstrators told the police they chose to protest in Udaipur in response to a rally by a small group of Muslims in the city on December 8. The Muslims had staged the demonstration in protest against the murder of labourer Mohammad Afrazul and had demanded strict action against Regar for killing him, a senior police officer said. The police said no law and order issue was reported that day, but videos of the protest were circulated on social media.
Udaipur continued to remain under strong police vigil on Thursday night, and internet services remained suspended.