Communal clashes and confrontations broke out in as many as four states during Ram Navami celebrations and rallies that were held on Sunday, April 10. Ram Navami is celebrated as the birthday of the god Ram. The violence was triggered mostly because some stone-pelting was reported during the Ram Navami procession and rallies. One person has died in the violence in Gujarat, and many in other states have been injured in the clashes. In other places, while there was no violence, provocation and jeering during the Ram Navami rallies led to tension in many parts.
One person was killed and another one injured in a communal clash in Khambhat city of Gujarat during a procession taken out on the occasion of Ram Navami on Sunday, while Himmatnagar city in the state also witnessed violence between members of two communities during a similar event, the police said. The clashing groups indulged in stone-pelting and arson at both the places and the police had to lob tear gas shells to bring the situation under control, officials said. While Khambhat city is located in Anand district, Himmatnagar lies in Sabarkantha district.
"The body of an unidentified man, who appears to be around 65 years old, was recovered from the spot in Khambhat, where two groups pelted each other with stones after a clash broke out between them during a Ram Navami procession late this afternoon," Superintendent of Police Ajeet Rajyan said.
Another person was injured and a few shop cabins were set on fire by the miscreants during the incident, he said, adding that the situation was later brought under control using tear gas shells. The deceased appears to have died due to the injuries he suffered during the clash. Investigation into the incident is underway, Rajyan said. A similar clash was reported in Himmatnagar and police had to use tear gas shells to control the violent mob that damaged some vehicles and shops, police said.
Curfew was clamped in the entire Khargone city of Madhya Pradesh after stones hurled at a Ram Navami procession triggered arson and torching of some vehicles and houses. At least 24 people, including six policemen, were injured in the violence and Khargone's Superintendent of Police Siddharth Choudhary received bullet injury, they said. Police had to fire tear gas shells to control the situation after the stone-pelting at Ram Navami procession on Sunday.
A similar stone-pelting incident was also reported during a Ram Navami procession in Sendhwa town of Barwani district where a police station in-charge and five others were injured. The situation was later brought under control, according to officials. Curfew has been imposed and ditizens have been asked to step out of home only for medical emergency, the collector said, adding that the situation is under control.
Tension prevailed in Jharkhand's Lohardaga district after incidents of stone pelting and arson during a Ram Navami fair in Hirahi-Hendlaso village. As per the information, some people started pelting stones on the crowd during Ram Navami processions in the area. This led to a stampede and more than half a dozen people were injured.
Later, people from both sides started pelting stones. As tension escalated, more than a dozen motorcycles and a pickup van were set on fire at the fair. Two houses have also been set ablaze near Bhogta Garden. Several senior officers including DC and SP of Lohardaga reached the spot. A heavy police force has been deployed in the entire area.
The Left-controlled JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) and RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad accused each other of pelting stones and injuring their members. The Left outfits claimed about 50 of their members were injured, while the ABVP said their 10-12 activists were hurt. Several purported videos of the violence surfaced on social media, with one of them showing Akhtarista Ansari, a second-year MA student of Sociology, bleeding from the head.
The JNUSU has alleged that the ABVP members stopped the mess vendor from supplying chicken and attacked him in the afternoon. However, the right-wing ABVP denied the charge and claimed that Leftists obstructed a Ram Navami puja in the hostel. The Delhi Police has registered an FIR against unknown ABVP students based on the complaint received from a group of students. According to police, the security both inside and outside the campus has been stepped up. Police personnel have been deployed only outside the campus till now while the security inside the campus is being taken care of by the university's security guards.
In other places, while the situation did not ecalate to violence, there was tension and provocation between Hindus and Muslims in many parts of the country. Tension prevailed in Goa's Islampura when a group of Hindu people reportedly tried to enter a mosque on Sunday, alleging that someone threw stones at a passing Ram Navami procession. In Siliguri of West Bengal, anti-Muslim songs were played in the background as the Ram Navami rally went on.
In Hyderabad, rabble-rouser BJP MLA Raja Singh yet again made provocative statements. Standing on top of a truck that was playing music during the rally, Raja Singh sang, "Jo Ram ke naam na le, unko Bharat se bhagana hain (Those who don't take the name of Ram, we have to chase them out of India)"
In Bihar's Muzaffarpur, a group of Hindu men holding saffron flags and swords were seen chanting slogans outside a mosque. A man is seen climbing the mosque wall and trying to fix a saffron flag there.
With agency inputs