Internet services have been suspended for 24 hours in three blocks of Rajasthan’s Jhalawar district following arson and incidents of loot, which took place hours after a scuffle between youths from two different communities, police said. The violence took place on Monday night, hours after the youths from the Muslim and Sondhya Rajput communities scuffled over an issue.
The matter did not escalate at that time but later social media messages that Hindus have been attacked in Gangdhar town started circulating, triggering communal tensions. The authorities have suspended the Internet services in Gangdhar, Pedawa and Bhawani Mandi blocks for 24 hours from 12 am on Monday night to July 21 midnight . Police have registered four cases against around 200 people, mostly unidentified, for provoking violence and damaging public property.
Three people have been arrested while 35 have been detained for questioning so far, police said. According to police, communal tensions gripped the area after the provocative messages were circulated on social media on Monday evening.
Jhalawar SP Kiran Kang Sidhu said they immediately arrested three youths involved in the scuffle but Laxman Singh of the Sondhya Rajput community, along with 100 to 150 people, reached the Gangdhar police station, demanding the arrest of all from the other group. The mob was not satisfied with the arrest of just three youths and set the sawmill where the scuffle had taken place on fire, the SP said.
When police tried to stop them, members from both communities started pelting each other with stones, in which Laxman Singh and two policemen sustained injuries. The mob also set a few vehicles on fire and damaged public property, the SP said. The situation further worsened when someone spread the rumour that Laxman Singh, who was sent to a hospital for treatment, had sustained bullet injuries. The SP said the situation in Gangdhar town is now under control. However, on the orders of the Kota divisional commissioner, the internet services have been suspended for 24 hours, Jhalawar District Collector Hari Mohan Meena said.