Jodhpur clashes: Over 100 arrested, curfew imposed, internet remains suspended
Jodhpur was riled by communal tensions on the eve and day of Eid, forcing authorities to impose a curfew in several areas, including Udai Mandir and Nagori Gate till Wednesday midnight. The police have arrested over 100 people in connection with the clashes. Internet services also remained suspended in Jodhpur. While appealing for peace, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot alleged BJP's role in the violence.
- India has been witnessing a spate of communal violence of late—especially during festivals—with Jodhpur clashes being the latest.
- Communal clashes broke out in Delhi's Jahangirpuri on Hanuman Jayanti (April 16).
- On Ram Navami (April 10), too, 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, clashes erupted between two communities over hoisting Eid flags on the Jalori Gate circle—when a three-day Parshuram Jayanti festival was ongoing in Jodhpur. This led to stone-pelting and five police personnel were injured. The police also lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the mob. The police and Rajasthan Armed Constabulary teams brought the situation under control by pacifying both community members.
Early on Tuesday, both communities reportedly engaged in clashes again. But heavy police deployment brought the situation under control. However, tensions escalated again after morning prayers at an Eidgah on Tuesday. Shops, vehicles, and houses near the Jalori Gate area were pelted with stones. Following the clashes, internet services were suspended in Jodhpur to curb the spread of rumors.
Calling the Jodhpur incident unfortunate, CM Ashok Gehlot has appealed for peace. However, he alleged the BJP's role in the violence. "This is the agenda of the BJP because inflation [and] unemployment [have] gone so far up, they cannot control it. So, they are doing this deliberately to divert attention," he told NDTV. He has also chaired a high-level meeting to review the situation.
The BJP, however, targeted the Congress-led Rajasthan government and also cited the recent Karauli incident. Earlier, BJP's Soorsagar MLA Suryakanta Vyas objected to hoisting Eid flags alongside freedom fighter Balmukund Bissa's statue at the Jalori Gate roundabout. BJP state chief Satish Poonia said, "Putting up Islamic flag on the statue of...Bissa by anti-social elements, and removing saffron flag put...on Parshuram Jayanti is condemnable (sic)."
On April 2, violence broke out in Rajasthan's Karauli after alleged stone-pelting at a bike rally organized to commemorate Hindu New Year. The incident left 35 injured. Several shops and over 70 vehicles were set on fire. RSS Swayamsewaks were dancing to music during the rally—which was passing through an area dominated by a certain community—miscreants allegedly began pelting stones from terraces and rooftops.