Jharkhand capital Ranchi was tense on Saturday as some Hindu outfits called a daylong bandh following communal clashes on the occasion of Bakr-Eid.
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which prohibits the assembly of more than four people, was imposed by the district administration in several parts of Ranchi after violent incidents. Mobs clashed with police in Ranchi’s Doranda and Hinoo localities.
Police reported that three of their constables, three citizens and two journalists were injured in the clashes that broke out in Hinoo, and Ranchi City superintendent of police Jaya Roy’s car windshield was smashed by protesters.
Hindu outfits blocked the city’s main arteries and rallied on foot and bikes. Shops and markets were shut. Schoolchildren had to spend extra hours in their institutions. Emergency services, however, remained functional.
Chief minister Raghubar Das took to the streets, trying to pacify protesters. He appealed to them to maintain peace. The CM toured areas in Doranda, Ranchi’s Main Road and Albert Ekka Chowk, meeting people from different communities. Das directed police to hold peace meetings and ensure adequate deputation of forces.
“Combinations of paramilitary and state police were deputed across the state capital. The situation was brought under control within hours after protesters started gathering at the epicentre of the violence (Hinoo),” director general of police (DGP) DK Pandey said.
District administration officials said police had detained 65 people for instigating violence and spreading rumours.
“Police have identified and detained menace mongers and those instigating the crowd. There had been no serious outbreak of violence,” said deputy commissioner Ranchi Manoj Kumar.
Somnath Chatterjee, a resident of Hinoo, said: “The protest broke out around 10am. I was home after leaving my children at school. I could only leave my residence late in the afternoon.”
“The police have done their work. The minority colonies in the area have remained unaffected,” said Md Danish, a member of the Doranda mosque and Doranda bazaar committee.
Trade as well as road traffic were stalled at Ranchi main markets including Bahu Bazar, Upper Bazar, Main Road and minority community areas like Hindpiri, Karbala Chowk and Risaldar Nagar.
“We have ensured that public institutions, schools, colleges and hospitals remain unaffected by the protests,” senior Ranchi SP Prabhat Kumar said.
The administration has been kept on high alert with forces marching on roads. The CM has asked the DGP to strictly monitor the situation and keep his office update on the developments.