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Jharkhand: Tension simmers in Giridh after temple desecration; cops detain six

Over 250 policemen have been deployed in Keswari village in Giridh district to maintain peace after the desecration, the second such incident in less than a week.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2017 15:09 IST
Saurav Roy/Pankaj Kumar
Saurav Roy/Pankaj Kumar
Hindustan Times, Ranchi/Giridih
Jharkhand,Communal tension,Durga idol
A poultry market vandalised in Keswari village in Giridh district after a Durga idol was desecrated.(HT PHOTO)

The Jharkhand Police which detained six men in Giridh on Tuesday – one for allegedly desecrating a temple and five for rioting in retaliation - claimed that the quick action prevented the desecration from snowballing into a possible conflagration.

Tension had been simmering in Keswari village in Giridh district, about 180 km from the state capital Ranchi after miscreants vandalized a Durga idol in a temple late Monday night. The desecration was the second such incident in less than a week in Jharkhand.

Irate villagers set several poultry shops ablaze in retaliation as the news spread.

On Tuesday, police detained 45-year-old Sikandar Ansari for allegedly vandalizing the temple. Biltu Thakur, Birju Rana, Vikash Rana, Gopi Paswan and Ajay Yadav were detained for rioting, sub divisional police officer (SDPO) Deepak Sharma told HT.

Sharma said the situation was now under control and over 250 policemen have been deployed in the affected area to prevent any likely clashes.

Read more: Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh tense after mentally-ill man ‘vandalises’ temple

“We have had a meeting with the senior members of both the communities and requested them to maintain peace,” he said.

Earlier on July 14, a Shiva temple was vandalized by a Muslim man in Hazaribag. It sparked communal clashes at four different locations in the district. Police said the accused who is now in jail, was mentally challenged. However, medical reports are yet to prove his mental disorder.

Police personnel deployed in Keswari village in Giridh district to maintain peace. ( HT PHOTO )

The Hazaribag police also made 23 arrests in connection with the case on Monday. Hazaribag superintendent of police Anup Birthare said that a majority of the arrested men – from the both communities - were in the age group of 18 to 22 years. They have been charged with rioting and disrupting communal harmony, he added.

More than five incidents of communal tension have been reported from different parts of Jharkhand in the past one month.

The BJP government in the state has been taking several initiatives, including externment of rumour mongers from their respective districts in a bid to avert communal clashes.

A few ministers in the Raghubar Das government have said that a well-planned nexus of rumour mongers was running in the state to cause unrest.

First Published: Jul 18, 2017 15:09 IST