Authorities in Jaipur on Wednesday imposed prohibitory orders in 10 police station areas for five days following a clash between two communities, reported PTI. Mobile internet services also remained suspended.
“A total of 15 people have been arrested so far and additional police forces have been deployed in areas where tension is prevailing,” Rajasthan Director General of Police Bhupendra Singh told reporters. Section 144 [prohibitory orders that bar the gathering of four or more people] has been imposed in 10 police station areas for five days from today.”
Twenty-four people, including nine policemen, were injured in the clash that took place on Monday night. The clash broke out after a Haridwar-bound bus ferrying kanwariyas was allegedly attacked. Members of two communities pelted stones at each other near Galta Gate. Five cars and over a dozen buses were damaged, and a two-wheeler was torched, said the police. The police had to use teargas to disperse the mob. On Tuesday, tension prevailed in Gangapol area of the city. There were reports of stone pelting in a few areas.
Singh said five separate cases had been registered and more arrests would be made soon. He added that security had been beefed up ahead of Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan festival on Thursday. “Police makes special arrangements during all kinds of festivals and national days,” said Singh. “But, considering the present situations extra measures have been taken.”
The police had on Tuesday said that the clash broke out after rumours were spread on social media that people were being forced to say “Jai Shri Ram”. The police have also identified three suspects who spread the rumours. DGP Singh asked people not to pay heed to rumours. “Rumours create an environment of fear and insecurity, which leads to action and reaction and ends in untoward incidents,” he said. “If there is any doubt in anyone’s mind then they should contact the police station and officers concerned for verification.”
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday assured the residents that the administration and police were handling the situation deftly. “I request all the citizens to cooperate in maintaining peace and order,” said Gehlot. “It is the duty of all of us to maintain the magnificent legacy of peace, harmony and brotherhood. I am sure all of you will support me.”