Section 144 has been imposed in Tonk, Rajasthan, after miscreants allegedly pelted stones from a mosque at a procession marking the Hindu New Year on Sunday (18 March). Tensions were high in the area after several participants and police officers were injured in the attack. Notably, this comes within weeks of a similar stone-pelting attack allegedly by a Muslim mob on a Hindu wedding function. Muslims form 47 per cent of the Tonk’s population.
As per a The Tribune report, over two thousand people of Hindu Nav-Varsh Samiti led by Tonk-Sawaimadhopur Member of Parliament Sukhbeer Singh Jaunpuria and other local leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party were taking out a rally on the occasion of Navratra at Bara-Kuna area of Kotwali in the city.
Around 6.30 pm, people suddenly threw stones on the rally from a mosque and their houses. VHP spokesman Mahaveer Jain also alleged that some people came with sharp-edged weapons to attack the rally. Jain claimed that 20 people were injured and 10 were admitted to a hospital.
A report by Hindi daily Patrika said that miscreants also set fire to three bikes parked outside a police station. The incident led to a stampede-like situation after which the police forced shops to be shut down and passersby to return home.
Additional Director General of Police (L&O) NRK Reddy told The Tribune that Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been imposed and two companies of Special Task Force have been deployed.
The attack comes within a month of another similar incident when Muslim mobs had allegedly pelted stones on a Gurjar wedding function, on 19 February. As per reports, the attack started after the wedding procession was playing loud music near a mosque that had closed for the day. Several woman in the procession were also attacked.
Internet services were suspended for a day after the violent incident and heavy police were deployed.
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