Communal clashes erupt in Jodhpur; 51 detained, 2 cops injured | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Communal clashes erupt in Jodhpur; 51 detained, 2 cops injured

ByDinesh Bothra ,
Jun 22, 2024 04:16 PM IST

According to the police, the clashes broke out over the installation of two new gates at an Eidgah near Rajaram Circle.

Jodhpur: The Rajasthan’s Jodhpur police on Saturday detained at least 51 people in connection with a violent clash which broke out in the Soorsagar area between two religious groups late on Friday night, said the police officials familiar with the development.

The mob set a local shop ablaze and vandalised two cars, including a police van (Twitter/ video screengrab)
The mob set a local shop ablaze and vandalised two cars, including a police van (Twitter/ video screengrab)

According to the police, the clashes broke out over the installation of two new gates at an Eidgah near Rajaram Circle.

“The dispute has been going on for the last few days…The incident took place at around 10:15pm (on Friday) when a group of 10 to 15 locals pelted stones at another group from the Eidgah”, Jodhpur police commissioner Rajendra Singh said.

As the tension escalated, the mob set a local shop ablaze and vandalised two cars, including a police van, Singh added.

Also Read | Odisha: Curfew, internet shutdown extended in communal violence hit Balasore

According to the police officials familiar with the matter, a dispute has been going on for the past few days over the installation of the two new gates at Eidgah’s rear wall after the locals alleged their construction did not follow the legal protocols of the local municipality.

Locals protested when the staff proceeded to inaugurate the gates at Eidgah on Friday night, Singh said. He added, however, the police and the local municipality officials reached the spot, and the matter was settled between the two groups at around 9:30pm followed by a negotiation in the presence of five members from both groups.

“The agreement prompted an immediate closure of the gates and the mob was dispersed,” said Singh.

He said that tension sparked when a group of 10 to 15 people suddenly started pelting stones in Vyapariyon ka Mohalla and retaliation surfaced from the other group.

“The incident left two police personnel, including the inspector of the Chaupasni Housing Board police station, Nitin Dave and constable Shaitan Singh, injured. Dave sustained a serious injury to his neck and was rushed to the hospital. He was discharged on Saturday morning. Singh was also discharged after a primary treatment”, the commissioner said.

Deputy commissioner of police (DCP), (West), Sharad Chaudhary, said that after the stone pelting incident, the agitated mob vandalised the local shops, houses, and a slew of cars. “A broom shop belonging to one group was set ablaze…The fire brigade eventually managed to extinguish the flames but it also damaged the gate of a nearby house,” DCP Chaudhary said.

He added that a tractor, parked near the Subhash Chowk area, was also set on fire while a police van was completely vandalised by the mob.

Following the incident of violence, the police swung into action, said Chaudhary. “We had to apply a mild force by lathi-charging to disperse them. Around four to five rounds of tear gas were also fired at Vypariyon Ka Mohalla”, he added.

The situation was taken under control after efforts of about three to four hours, said police. Commissioner Singh also reached the spot late at night to supervise the law and order situation in Soorsagar.

The DCP in Jodhpur East, Alok Shrivastava, on Saturday, issued section 144 in parts of Soorsagar, while an additional police force along with the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) force was deployed in the area to reinstate the peace.

“The situation is now under control. The police are constantly patrolling the area. Around 51 people have been detained so far. However, the probe is underway to detain all the people who disturbed the peace in the area. We are also investigating how the tension was provoked despite an agreement being settled between the two groups,” commissioner Singh said.

The police have also launched a first information report against unidentified persons in connection with the stone pelting incident. A case was lodged under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with arms likely to cause death), 149 (unlawful assembly), 332 (voluntarily causing harm to deter a public worker from doing his duties) of the Indian Penal Code, said police.

“This incident marks the third such instance of communal clash within the past five years. In April 2019, a sudden outbreak of stone-pelting during the conclusion of the Ram Navami procession led to chaos in Vyapariyon ka Mohalla. Shops and vehicles were set on fire during the violence resulting in multiple injuries. Another such minor clash was also reported in June 2022 following a small dispute between two groups in the same area. We will probe all the angles and nab the ones who provoked the situation soon,” said a senior police official, on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, commenting on the incident, Union minister and Bhartiya Janata Party MP from Jodhpur, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, speaking to the media persons, said, “The government is serious about the matter. Necessary action will be taken against the ones who tried to disturb the peace in Jodhpur city.”

“The anti-social elements that created yesterday’s incident in Soorsagar will not be tolerated. I urge all communities to uphold peace and harmony…Action will be taken against those found disturbing the peace…Currently, action is being taken against the guilty and suspects”, state minister Jogaram Patel said.

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