Ram Navami: Communal violence reported from four states during processions
Communal clashes erupted in four states on Sunday during the Ram Navami processions. While one person died in Gujarat, violence was also reported in Madhya Pradesh's Khargone, West Bengal's Howrah, and Jharkhand's Lohardaga. As per reports, clashes erupted as rallies were held to celebrate the Hindu festival. According to officials, restrictions have been imposed in affected areas in order to maintain law and order.
- Reportedly, most of the communal clashes were reported from minority-dominated areas, where anti-social elements allegedly triggered violence.
- To note, communal tensions have recently seen a surge across the country.
- Similar clashes were reported in Karnataka on Friday when stones were reportedly pelted during a Rama Shobha Yatra procession in Kolar's Mulbagal. During another Kolar procession, right-wing activists allegedly used loudspeakers and danced before mosques.
In Madhya Pradesh's Khargone, stones were thrown at a Ram Navami procession, resulting in arson and torching of some houses and vehicles, India Today reported. To keep the situation under control, the police used teargas shells. Following the violence—in which three cops were injured—a curfew was enforced in three areas of Khargone; residents were asked not to leave their homes except for medical emergencies.
On Sunday, a Ram Navami procession in West Bengal's Howrah was also allegedly attacked. An investigation was launched into the incident and a large number of security personnel was deployed there to maintain peace. The police asked residents to exercise caution while posting about the incident online to avoid untoward incidents. WB's Opposition BJP, meanwhile, alleged it was the police who attacked the procession.
According to The Indian Express, violence was reported in Gujarat from Anand district's Khambhat town and Sabarkantha district's Himmatnagar town. Both towns reported stone-pelting and arson—one death was reported in Khambhat. The police used tear gas to control the situation. Despite reports of violence, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) decided to hold another rally in the same area in Himmatnagar, the Indian Express reported.
In Jharkhand, too, stone-pelting was reported during a Ram Navami procession in Lohardaga, following which police forces were deployed in the area. Several people were reportedly injured in the incident. Similarly, some youngsters in Bokaro—who were allegedly on their way to join a procession—got into a fight with another group and were attacked with stones. The police, however, said the matter was resolved later.