Rajasthan’s Jaitaran town tense after communal violence; 10 detained, curfew till April 6
Internet services were suspended in Jaitaran, Pali, Nimaz and Sojat areas in Rajasthan to prevent the spread of rumours through social media. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC will continue till April 6.Updated: Apr 01, 2018, 23:37 IST
Shops were closed, internet services were suspended and people stayed indoors because of a curfew as the situation remained tense on Sunday in Jaitaran, about 240km southwest of Jaipur, a day after communal violence erupted in this Rajasthan town during a religious procession.
Police detained more than 10 people, while police from the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) and the Special Task Force (STF) guarded the town to stop any fresh flare-up. Internet services were suspended in Jaitaran, Pali, Nimaz and Sojat areas to prevent the spread of rumours through social media.
“We are investigating the reasons that led to the violence. We are also counselling leaders of both communities,” superintendent of police Deepak Bhargava said.
According to district collector Sudhir Kumar Sharma, the situation is under control but prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC will continue till April 6.
This was the third case of communal violence in Rajasthan in a fortnight, after clashes in Bundi and Tonk.
The violence in Jaitaran erupted around 4.30pm on Saturday when a Hanuman Jayanti procession with 1,500 people accompanied by a disc jockey (DJ) was passing through a market area inhabited mostly by Muslims.
Sources, who did not want to be named, said some people in the procession allegedly shouted provocative slogans. People from the minority community objected to these slogans and the situation went out of hand when miscreants threw stones at the procession from the buildings abutting the street, they said.
It has been alleged that the people in the procession retaliated and soon a large mob from both communities face each other on the streets, some of them armed with sharp weapons.
Police were outnumbered and by the time reinforcements arrived, the mob torched six shops and set a bus, a tractor and more than a dozen two-wheelers ablaze, the sources said. About 10 people, including policemen, were wounded.
“The town was peaceful about 20 to 25 years ago, but now such incidents take place every two to three years,” Madan Mohan Das, a priest at a Hanuman temple in the town, said. “The crowd got angry after a Mahant leading the procession was hit by a stone,” he said.
A Ram Navami procession was also taken out in the locality a few days ago, but no untoward incident was reported.
“Police and the administration were clearly not prepared and had not anticipated such violence,” said a journalist, requesting anonymity.
The town looked almost deserted on Sunday. The only vehicles on roads belonged to police and the local administration. Senior officials, including inspector general of police Hawa Singh Ghumaria, are camping in the town.