Rajasthan Muslim labour murder: Prohibitory orders in Udaipur, Rajsamand as tension mounts
Nearly a dozen policemen including a senior official were injured on Thursday when hundreds of activists, allegedly belonging to right-wing Hindu outfits, pelted stones at security personnel in Udaipurindia Updated: Dec 14, 2017 21:09 IST
Nearly a dozen policemen including a senior official were injured on Thursday when hundreds of activists, allegedly belonging to right-wing Hindu outfits, pelted stones at security personnel in Udaipur during a protest demonstration against a provocative video clip.
Police caned the slogan-shouting activists who were demanding action against unidentified people blamed for circulating the video clip that purportedly shows a group of people shouting inflammatory slogans against Hindu organisations and demanding death for Shambhu Lal Regar (37), accused of hacking a Muslim migrant labourer and setting the body afire.
The incident took place near the Court Circle in Udaipur around 5pm when the activists gathered for the protest demonstration defying prohibitory orders, in Udaipur and Rajsamand, that banned assembly of more than five people.
The injured policemen included the additional superintendent of police, Sudhir Joshi. At least 20 activists were detained, police said.
The violence capped a day of protests and demonstrations forcing the administration to cut off internet in both districts on Thursday.
Regar is in custody over the killing of 50-year-old Afrazul Islam last week and making a video clip of the murder. The two adjacent districts are bristling with tension since the killing.
The latest video clip, apparently shot at the Chetak Circle in the historic city of Udaipur, has been widely circulated on social media and through messaging apps such as WhatsApp.
Udaipur range inspector general of police, Anand Shrivastava, said the prohibitory orders will remain in force for a couple of days depending on the situation.
“Internet services have been suspended till midnight Thursday but will be reviewed and the ban extended, if required,” he said adding that the video slip has been sent to the forensic science laboratory for ascertaining its authenticity.
In Udaipur, small groups of Hindutva activists gathered at different places in the city or took out bike rallies and were being detained by policemen.
Udaipur additional superintendent of police, Brajesh Soni, said police caned a group of about 50 people Chetak Circle, where a statue of the former Mewar king Maharana Pratap’s horse stands. Udaipur was the capital of the former Mewar kingdom.
Soni said 20 of the slogan-shouting activists were detained.
Several Hindu outfits, led by the Bajrang Dal, also called for a demonstration on Friday.
Representatives of these organisations met the Udaipur superintendent of police Rajendra, Prasad Goyal, and demanded action against those shouting communal slogans.
“The SP assured us action against the guilty. If they do not act, we will hold a protest on December 15 by Hindu organisations,” said Indrajit Singh, state chief of the Bajrang Dal.
Police detained Thakur Updesh Rana, a self-styled activist, in Bagru on the outskirts of Jaipur, for disturbing public peace, according to Bagru station house officer, Rajendra Singh Shekhawat.
Rana had posted a video online on Tuesday calling for a rally in Udaipur on Thursday and exhorting Hindus to participate in large numbers.
In another video posted on Wednesday, Rana said he was going to Udaipur to meet Regar’s family, and dared the administration to arrest him.
Indrajit Singh of Bajrang Dal said they do not support Rana.
“He is only a social media hero. He has no base or support on the ground. We have nothing to do with him. He was coming to vitiate the atmosphere here,” Singh told HT.
Six persons — four from Rajsamand and two from Udaipur — have been arrested in the past few days for posting inflammatory messages online following the Muslim labourer’s murder.
The Rajsamand police have also frozen a bank account of Regar’s wife after the number shared online asking people to contribute money for the family.