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Jodhpur Violence: Sec 144 in 10 Areas as Clashes Erupt on Eid, 3 Held; States on Alert | Updates

Jodhpur: Police try to restore peace  after clashes broke out between two communities on Eid-ul-Fitr, in Jalori Gate area, in Jodhpur, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Jodhpur: Police try to restore peace after clashes broke out between two communities on Eid-ul-Fitr, in Jalori Gate area, in Jodhpur, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Union minister and Jodhpur MP Gajendra Singh Shekhawat condemned the incident and said the law and order situation is in disarray in Rajasthan

Curfew was imposed and mobile internet services suspended in Jodhpur after communal tensions were reported following clashes at midnight, hours before Eid on Tuesday, over the issue of putting up Islamic flags on the Jalori gate circle, leading to stone pelting in which five policemen were injured.

Curfew was imposed in 10 police stations of Jodhpur city on Tuesday after communal tension broke out. Udai Mandir, Nagori Gate, Khanda Phalsa, Pratap Nagar, Dev Nagar, Soor Sagar and Sardarpura are among the police stations limits where the curfew has been imposed until May 4 midnight, according to the police control room.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot directed the Minister of State for Home Rajendra Yadav, Minister in-charge for Jodhpur Subhash Garg, Additional Chief Secretary Home Abhay Kumar and Additional DG (Law and Order) Hawa Singh Ghumaria to travel to Jodhpur by helicopter. Gehlot chaired a high-level review meeting in this connection and gave necessary directions.

The dispute over religious flags started last night when a Hindu group hoisted a flag at the Balmukand Bissa circle at the Jalori Gate intersection, leading to clashes. Following last night’s stone-pelting, in which at least four policemen were injured, tensions prevailed this morning as members of the minority group tried to remove the flag hoisted by Hindus. Police then removed the flags of both communities and replaced them with the tricolor.

Police forces also fired tear gas and lathicharged people on Tuesday to manage the crowd, News18 Rajasthan reported. The situation is in control now but there is heavy police deployment in the area.

Police vehicles have been vandalized and several people, from both communities, have also suffered injuries. Many were taken into police custody.

A CCTV footage that has surfaced, amid communal tension in Jodhpur, shows one youth among a group holding a sword in his hand.

Following the incident on Monday night, the district administration stopped internet services as a precautionary measure in view of the tense atmosphere. An order issued by Jodhpur Divisional Commissioner Himanshu Gupta said all internet services will be suspended on May 3 in Jodhpur from 1 pm onwards.

The chief minister asked the people to uphold brotherhood and called the incident unfortunate. “While respecting the tradition of love and brotherhood of Jodhpur, Marwar, I make a touching appeal to all the parties to maintain peace and cooperate in restoring law and order,” he said in a tweet.

Gehlot said instructions had been issued to the administration to maintain peace and order. BJP MLA Suryakanta Vyas in Jodhpur raised an objection to the installation of the Eid flag alongside the freedom fighter’s statue.

“They did (put up the flag) at (the statue of) Bissa ji and we have a strong objection to this. We will not forget this,” Vyas, along with her supporters, said.

BJP state president Satish Poonia said, “Putting up Islamic flag on the statue of freedom fighter Balmukund Bissa by anti-social elements, and removing saffron flag put up on Parshuram Jayanti is condemnable.” He appealed to the people to maintain peace and demanded the state government to establish ‘rule of law’.

Union minister and Jodhpur MP Gajendra Singh Shekhawat condemned the incident and said the law and order situation is in disarray in Rajasthan. “Instead of helping the people who got injured, the police attacked the journalists and victims of these clashes,” he said, adding the incident looked like a planned conspiracy according to him.

Slamming the chief minister for the delay in addressing the clashes, he said the police did not take any pre-emptive steps to prevent the incident. “It is clear that the police were under some pressure,” he alleged.

“We have warned the Administration that if no action is taken in this incident, then, we will hold a massive protest at Jalori Gate in Jodhpur,” he said.

Additional 600 troops have been deployed in Rajasthan’s Karauli district. Drones have also been deployed to oversee the place.

Meanwhile, Delhi police have issued an alert on the occasion of Eid across the sensitive areas in the national capital. As Eid happens to fall on the same day as the Hindu festival Akshaya Tritiya, security personnel are on their toes to avoid any untoward incidents.

These states are on security alert during Eid:

Delhi

In Delhi, additional forces have been deployed across Jahangirpuri, which still remains on the sensitive list after the clashes that broke during Hanuman Jayanti, and other minority-dominated areas. Strick vigil is being done through drones and a watch on anti-social elements is also being kept in the sensitive areas, where the situation has been peaceful so far.

Pathak, along with DCP Northwest Usha Rangrani, reached Jahangirpuri and greeted the Muslim community on Eid. The locals of the area offered sweets to Delhi police officials in a display of harmony among the communities.

While speaking to the media, the Joint CP said that the deployment in the area is precautionary and gradual decrease in the number of forces will be seen in the days to come.

Madhya Pradesh

Meanwhile, in the riot-hit Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh, a 24-hour curfew will be in force on Eid-al-Fitr and Akshaya Tritiya in and people have been asked to celebrate the festivals at home in the city, where violence was reported during a Ram Navami procession on April 10. Since April 14, the local administration has been relaxing the curfew for some hours.

Khargone authorities had relaxed the curfew for nine hours on Monday, after initially announcing a 24-hour curfew on May 2 and 3. Additional forces have been deployed to beef up security in Khargone, Special Armed Force Commandant Ankit Jaiswal told reporters late Sunday night.

West Bengal

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday addressed a congregation at the Red Road namaz, which is happening after two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic. “We oppose the politics of divide and rule. We oppose the politics of isolation. We support the politics of unity and togetherness,” said Mamata.

Mamata promised to fight those who are trying to divide the country. “I will not bow down, I will continue to fight for people’s rights There is no unity like Bengal unity in this country. That unity is a cause of jealousy for a lot of people. That’s why they target us and try to divide us,” she said.

Jammu and Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir administration decided not to allow Eid prayers to be held at Eidgah ground or at historic Jamia Masjid in the old city after 7.00 am on Eid, claimed the Masjid management committee on Sunday. In a statement, Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid said that police and civil authorities called them on Saturday to convey that Eid prayers will not be allowed at Eidgah Srinagar and at Jamia Masjid Srinagar if not held before 7.00 am.

According to the Anjuman, the authorities have put several conditions on holding prayers at Eidgah or Jamia Masjid and sought a written undertaking from the management in this regard.

The Anjuman on Saturday had announced that Eid prayers will be held at Eidgah grounds at 9.30 am. In case of inclement weather, the prayers were planned at Jamia masjid at per past practice.

The Anjuman expressed surprise that while authorities have no problem with allowing Eid prayers at Hazratbal shrine at 10.30 am, they are putting conditions on holding prayers at Eidgah.

Maharashtra

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Monday asked his party workers not to perform ‘Maha Aartis’ scheduled for Tuesday on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya and said the Muslim community should celebrate the Eid festival falling on the same day without any hindrance. He said the issue of loudspeakers atop mosques being raised by him was a social matter and not religious in nature.

“Eid is being celebrated tomorrow. The Muslim community should also celebrate festivities without any hindrances. I have already mentioned this in the Sambhajinagar rally (on Sunday in Aurangabad). I appeal to my ‘Maharashtra Sainiks’ not to perform ‘Maha Aartis’ on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya which will also be celebrated tomorrow. We do not intend to cause hindrance or obstacles to any religion during their festivities,” Thackeray tweeted.

(Inputs on from Jahangirpuri from Nikhil Lalwani)

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first published:May 03, 2022, 07:36 IST