The Madhya Pradesh Police have detained 24 people from Chandan Khedi village after clashes erupted when members of Hindutva groups shouted slogans in front of a mosque on Tuesday, The Indian Express reported. The members of the Hindutva groups were conducting a rally in the Muslim-dominated village to collect donations for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.
Around 200 people chanted Hanuman Chalisa and “Jai Shri Ram” slogans outside the mosque when prayers were being offered inside, officials said. This led to a heated exchange between Hindus and Muslims, and led to stone pelting, the police said. Some members from the rally hoisted saffron flags and climbed the mosque and tried to damage the minaret, witnesses said. Some videos also showed the Hindutva group members trying to damage nearby houses and vehicles.
“Twenty-four people, mostly from the village, have been rounded up based on video evidence,” Indore Inspector General of Police Yogesh Deshmukh said. “There will be more arrests on both sides and people who climbed atop the mosque will be identified and booked under relevant sections.”
The clashes went on till late on Tuesday and senior officials such as Collector Manish Singh and Senior Superintendent of Police Harinarayan Chari Mishra were at the spot to control the situation, according to The Indian Express.
The Indore collector imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, ANI reported. The orders were imposed in gram panchayats of Chandan Khedi, Dharmat, Rudrakhya, Sunala, Dudhakhedi and municipal councils of Gautampura and Sanwer.
The clashes in Chandan Khedi came three days after a similar incident was reported in Ujjain’s Begum Bagh area. During a rally by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, similar slogan chanting and stone pelting incidents were reported. The police have arrested 15 people so far but they are all residents of Begum Bagh. No participants of this rally have been arrested so far.