Curfew imposed in Chhattisgarh’s Kawardha town after communal violence; 15 detained
RAIPUR: Curfew was imposed in Kawardha town of Chhattisgarh’s Kabirdham district on Tuesday evening after when violence broke out between two communities over removal of religious flags from a thoroughfare. Around a dozen of people including three policemen sustained minor injuries in the violence.
“Curfew has been imposed in the evening after the violence. We are registering FIRs and till now 40 people have been booked,” Kabirdham superintendent of police (SP) Mohit Garg said.
Police said tension started on Sunday evening when people from two communities brawled over removal of religious flags from Lohara Chowk area. Restrictions under section 144 were imposed the same day to cool tempers on both sides.
On Monday, Garg said the police arrested six people and two FIRs were been registered against people from both communities. Police also called a peace committee meeting where people were asked to remove religious flags from Lohara Chowk in view of upcoming festivals and to maintain peace and harmony.
“On Tuesday, a protest was called by a right-wing organization turned violent when the protesters entered the areas dominated by the other community. The situation is under control and curfew has been imposed. A few people including some police personnel sustained minor injuries but they are stable,” said Director General of Police DM Awasthi.
“On Tuesday, a group of people from a community entered areas of other community and violence started…Bikes were torched and some houses of other communities were also ransacked… Later, police lathi-charged at some places and strict curfew has been imposed in the town,” said a senior police official, adding that the internet services have been suspended for now
The official added that around 15 people have been detained.
“Stones were pelted on police, due to which, three policemen were injured. An inspector, Pradeep Sori, has been admitted to government hospital while the rest sustained minor injuries,” said the officer.
Kawardha is home town of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) former chief minister Raman Singh. Forest minister Mohammad Akbar is also from the district.
Raman Singh blamed the local administration. “The administration and police were unable to solve a minor issue between the two communities, which led to violence and clash…The administration failed. Now the town is peaceful but what happened was unfortunate,” said Singh, who is also BJP vice-president.
Chhattisgarh’s forest minister Mohammad Akbar said the situation was under control.
“Kawardha is a peaceful town and such an incident has never taken place in the past. The violence was unfortunate but everything is under control now,” said Akbar.