Ram Navami celebrations on Thursday were marked by violence across several states. Clashes erupted in Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. The situation is tense in these states, with one death reported in Maharashtra.
Here is all that has happened so far:
Violence was reported in three areas — Aurangabad, Malad and Jalgaon — in Maharashtra. In Aurangabad, a fight between two men outside a Ram temple in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar‘s Kiradpura area on Wednesday escalated, leading to people pelting stones and 13 vehicles being set on fire.
A mob of around 500 people hurled stones and petro-filled bottles even as police tried to control the situation using tear gas and plastic bullets.
A 51-year-old man who suffered injuries during the clash died while receiving treatment at a hospital on Thursday. The deceased was identified as Shaikh Muniruddin.
At least 12 people, including 10 police officers, were injured during the clash.
In Malad, several people were injured, including four constables, after a clash broke out between two groups during a Shobha Yatra as part of the Ram Navami celebrations. The incident took place when the yatra was going on and some people objected to the high volume DJ and loud music accompanying it.
20 people were arrested on Friday over the clashes.
In Jalgaon, four people were injured after a clash broke out between two groups over loud music playing outside a mosque while Namaz was being offered inside. A group of people allegedly pelted stones on a palki yatra which was passing near the area.
45 people were arrested over the incident and two FIRs were registered to probe the clash.
In West Bengal too, clashes erupted in two areas — Howrah and Dalkhola — during Ram Navami celebrations. In Howrah’s Kazipara, several vehicles were torched and shops ransacked on Thursday. Police said a group of people attacked a Ram Navami procession and started throwing glass bottles, stones and bricks at those who had participated in it.
Vehicles were torched in Shibpur as well during a Ram Navami procession.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee warned of action against those who are “into riots and conspiracy” after the violence in Howrah.
In Dalkhola, a person was killed while several others were injured following clashes between two groups during a procession. Several others, including five to six police officers, were injured in the incident.
On Friday, a clash erupted again in Howrah with reports of stone pelting.
Two Ram Navami processions were attacked in the Fatehpura area of Gujarat’s Vadodara city. People hurled stones at each other and damaged several vehicles on the road.
24 people were detained by the police over the violence.
Two people were injured after they were stabbed as two groups clashed when a Ram Navami procession was passing by a mosque in Karnataka’s Hassan on Thursday. A total of four people were injured.
A clash broke out between two groups during a Ram Navami Shobha Yatra near Shahi Masjid in Lucknow on Thursday. Stones were pelted and people were assaulted, sources told India Today.
Police said an argument broke out between the two groups and they clashed over loud music playing while the procession passed by a mosque.
Violence was also reported in Bihar’s Munger over a Ram Navami procession entering the Hazratganj Mohalla area. Officials said the procession violated the rules that were meant for the routes.
A case was registered against 200 unidentified people.
NATIONWIDE VIOLENCE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW
Violence erupting during Hindu festivals is becoming the new normal. In April last year, clashes erupted in at least 10 states during Hanuman Jayanti celebrations, with similar instances of stone pelting and arson. Communal violence was reported in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra over several days.
To prevent history from repeating itself, Delhi Police increased the security in Jahangirpuri after a large group of people took out a march on Ram Navami. Local police, a riot control force along with four companies of outside forces were deployed in the area to maintain peace.
The Delhi Police had denied permission to the group to hold a ‘Shree Ram Bhagwan Pratima Yatra’ in the area where violence broke out last year during a Hanuman Jayanti procession.
In Jharkhand too, over 3,000 police personnel were deployed when Ram Navami celebrations began two weeks back. On Thursday, people celebrated the festival with fervour amid elaborate security arrangements, including drone surveillance.