Communal violence between Hindus and Muslims erupted yesterday (15 February) in Palamu district of Jharkhand, following which Section 144 has been imposed in the area.
Heavy stone-pelting was witnessed for over an hour, while some people clashes with sticks and rods. Watch a video of the violence here.
Violence took place after managers of a local mosque objected to installation of a temporary gate for Mahashivratri celebrations, that are scheduled for 18 February.
The site of the violence is Panki Bazaar area.
As per various reports, members of the Hindu community were decorating the streets ahead of the festival with frills and flags. Devotees wanted to make a decorative passage to a Shiv temple located in Rahevir Pahadi colony of Panki area.
Labourers hired by the temple committee reached a spot nearby that happened to be close to a mosque, locally called Palamu Mosque. They wanted to build an entry gate with bamboo sticks, commonly called Torandwar. However, the mosque committee stopped them saying they would not allow the entry gate at the spot.
The labourers returned, but the next day, they again reached the spot. The two sides got into an argument. As per a Dainik Jagran report, the mosque side hit a man named Niranjan Singh, a member of temple committee, injuring him on the head.
Soon, the site became a war zone with heavy stone pelting and clashes between the two sides. As per reports, rioters threw brick pieces and cold drink bottles at each other, besides stones. It is reported that the rioters also vandalised shops belonging to members of the other community.
Police teams had to be called in from areas namely Panki, Lesliganj, Lohrassu and Tarhasi. Anjaneyu Superintendent of Police Chandan Kumar Sinha reached the spot. Internet services were disrupted soon after, and have not been restored yet.
A statement by officer Chandan Kumar can be watched here, where he is saying that the situation was brought under control.
The current chief minister of Jharkhand is Hemant Soren from Congress-backed political party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.
Reacting to the incident, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Member of Parliament Nishikant Dubey said, “We are not taking out a procession in Mecca or Medina. This is India. If we are not supposed to take out our processions peacefully here, then where should we go?”
He said that the gate was bring erected for a procession in which lakhs of people annually participate.
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