Two communities clash on eve of Eid in Rajasthan's Jodhpur
Two communities clashed over hoisting religious flags ahead of Eid-al-Fitr in Jodhpur's Jalori Gate late on Monday night. The dispute involved hoisting flags for Parashuram Jayanti and Eid-al-Fitr which fall on Tuesday. This led to stone-pelting in which some police personnel were injured. Internet services were suspended in the district to stop the spread of misinformation. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has appealed for peace.
- India has been witnessing a rise in incidents of communal violence of late—especially during festivals.
- There were clashes between two communities in Delhi's Jahangirpuri on Hanuman Jayanti (April 16).
- On Ram Navami (April 10) as well, similar incidents were reported from Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, and West Bengal.
- Incidents of hate speech and the Karnataka hijab row have also fueled communal tensions in India.
Late on Monday, two communities engaged in a clash over hoisting religious flags when a person making a video at Jalori Gate was reportedly beaten up. Some people who tried to rescue him were also attacked, after which the other faction started pelting stones. Later, the police and Rajasthan Armed Constabulary teams brought the situation under control by pacifying the people from both sides.
Later on early Tuesday, members from the two communities reportedly engaged in violent clashes again. Stones were also pelted, following which Udaymandir SHO Amit Sihag and DCP East Bhuvanbhushan Yadav, among others, were injured. "Four policemen were injured in the stone-pelting. A heavy police force was deployed in the area to control the situation," a source in the police control room told PTI.
The police fired tear gas shells to bring the situation under control. The cops also chased people out of the clash site and a heavy police force was deployed on the Jabta Idgah Road and at the Jalori Gate intersection. Many roads leading to Jalori Gate were also barricaded. Jodhpur's Soorsagar MLA Suryakanta Vyas and Corporation South Mayor Vanita Seth visited the clash site.
A three-day Parshuram Jayanti festival is also reportedly underway in Jodhpur alongside Eid-al-Fitr. Owing to the two festivals, religious flags were put up by both communities on Monday, which resulted in a dispute. Following the clashes, internet services were suspended in Jodhpur to curb the spread of rumors and misinformation. The namaz for Eid-al-Fitr on Tuesday was also offered under police protection.
Following the clashes, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot appealed for peace. "It is unfortunate that tension has arisen due to a clash between two groups at Jalori Gate, Jodhpur. The administration has been instructed to maintain peace and order at all costs," he tweeted in Hindi. Citing the tradition of "love and brotherhood" of Jodhpur and Marwar, he asked "all the parties to maintain peace."
The Rajasthan Police has detained three persons in connection with the clashes, ANI reported. Meanwhile, BJP MLA Vyas reportedly objected to hoisting Eid flags alongside freedom fighter Balmukund Bissa's statue at Jalori Circle. BJP state chief Satish Poonia said, "Putting up Islamic flag on the statue of...Balmukund Bissa by anti-social elements, and removing saffron flag put up on Parshuram Jayanti is condemnable (sic)."
जोधपुर, मारवाड़ की प्रेम एवं भाईचारे की परंपरा का सम्मान करते हुए मैं सभी पक्षों से मार्मिक अपील करता हूं कि शांति बनाए रखें एवं कानून-व्यवस्था बनाने में सहयोग करें।— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) May 3, 2022