Communal clashes erupt in four states during Ram Navami rallies; one dead, many injuredtext_fields
Communal clashes broke out in four states - Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal - during processions yesterday to mark Ram Navami, leaving one dead and several injured.
As per a PTI report, a 65-year-old man was killed and another injured as communal clashes erupted in Gujarat's Khambhat during a procession taken out on the occasion of Ram Navami on Sunday.
In Himmatnagar, another city in north Gujarat, a mob damaged some vehicles and shops and police had to use teargas shells to control the situation, PTI reported.
"During the melee, some persons were hit by stones," Sabarkantha's police chief Vishal Vaghela said.
The clashes erupted in the state's Himmatnagar, about 70 km from Gandhinagar, and Khambhat, about 125 km from the state capital, after a procession, to mark Ram Navmi passed through Muslim-dominated areas, state's director general of police (DGP) Ashish Bhatia said.
Parts of Madhya Pradesh's Khargone were placed under curfew after violence and arson during a Ram Navami procession, a senior official said. Police have been deployed in large numbers to prevent any flare-up.
Additional Collector SS Mujalde said clashes broke out when stones were allegedly thrown at a procession that started from Talab Chowk area following an altercation over playing music from loudspeakers. "Police had to fire teargas shells to control the situation," Mr Mujalde said.
Visuals show vehicles set on fire, some people throwing stones, and the police firing teargas shells. Many policemen, including police superintendent Siddharth Chaudhary, were injured. Four houses were set on fire and a temple vandalised.
In Bengal's Howrah, policemen have been positioned in large numbers after reports of clashes during a Ram Navami procession in the Shibpur area. Police have said they are taking steps to maintain peace.
The opposition BJP has alleged that the police had attacked the Ram Navami procession. Leader of Opposition in Assembly Suvendu Adhikari accused police personnel of raining blows on those participating in the Ram Navami procession.
Police have requested residents in Howrah to maintain restraint while posting anything on social media and have warned them against spreading any fake news.
Reports of stone-pelting and arson on Ram Navami processions have also come in from Jharkhand's Lohardaga. Several people were reportedly injured, three of them critically. Heavy police force is on ground to keep the peace.
On Sunday, Ram Navami was celebrated as the birthday of Lord Rama across the country with processions in many states.