Communal clashes broke out in Rajasthan’s Karauli on Saturday evening after stones were pelted at a motorcycle rally taken out to celebrate the Hindu new year, prompting authorities to clamp curfew, suspend the internet and deploy 600 police personnel. The incident left several injured and one critical.
Around two dozen people were injured in the violence while 30 people were detained, \Singh Ghumariya said, adding the situation is under control.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot appealed to the public to maintain peace and “stay away from miscreants who are present in every religion.” “I have spoken to the DG police. Police and officials are present there. I’ve also directed police to identify such anti-social elements,” he said.
The rally to mark Nav Samvatsar was passing through a Muslim-dominated area when some people pelted stones. The violence escalated and a few shops and a bike were burnt. Several others were damaged, the police said. The police control room of Karauli initially said that over 35 persons were injured.
“Soon after the incident, IG Bharatpur and IG Law and Order have reached Karauli. Around 600 policemen from outside have been dispatched to Karauli. Curfew has been imposed in Karauli. Strict action has been directed,” Hawa Singh Ghumariya, ADG Law and Order, said.
Meanwhile the IGP said that a 100% curfew has been imposed in Karauli and directions are that violators must not be spared. “ADG and DIG from the Police headquarters have been sent. A big number of Deputy SP also sent. Currently, the situation’s under control; a few shops were set afire which are being brought under control,” he said.
The ADG added many of the injured were discharged after primary treatment while around 10 were admitted to a local hospital and one was referred to SMS hospital in Jaipur in critical condition. Mobile internet has also been suspended in Karauli, which is 170 km from state capital Jaipur.
Governor Kalraj Mishra and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot spoke to Director General of Police (DGP) M L Lather and appealed to the public to maintain peace. Officials said 600 policemen, including 50 officers of the ranks of deputy superintendent of police and inspector, have been deployed and three IPS officers have been sent from Jaipur to Karauli.
Karauli collector Rajendra Singh Shekhawat said that curfew has been imposed in the entire city. ADG Hawa Singh Ghumariya said that some shops were set on fire.
The fire has been brought under control by fire tenders. ADG Sanjib Kumar, IG Bharat Lal Meena, DIG (Crime branch) Jaipur Rahul Prakash and (DCP) Mridul Kachawa have been sent to Karauli, he said. Gehlot told reporters in Barmer that he had directed the DGP to take strict action against the culprits.
Some miscreants happen to be there…they can be in any religion and anywhere and they should be avoided because they are not harmed, common man is harmed. They are not hurt, common man is hurt, he said. Gehlot said that Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and all other communities need to contribute and play their constructive role in building an environment of peace and development in the state.
BJP state president Satish Poonia held the Congress government responsible for the incident. Congress government’s appeasement policy is responsible for it. No arrest has been made so far. It was a planned attack on the bike rally which was organised on Hindu new year, Poonia alleged.
Former chief minister and BJP leader Vasundhara Raje also condemned the incident and said the “hate mentality” cannot be allowed to flourish in Rajasthan.