At least 97 people were held and several others detained as violent clashes erupted in Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s hometown Jodhpur on the eve of Eid on Tuesday.
Jodhpur remains tense as curfew continues in few parts of the town, including Udai Mandir and Nagori Gate. Earlier, mobile internet services were suspended and curfew imposed in 10 police stations areas.
While Gehlot called for peace, he also slammed the BJP’s central leadership for trying to defame his government. “It is their job to incite Hindu-Muslim riots. How long can you do politics in the name of polarisation? This country belongs to all religions, all castes and PM Modi and central government also have to understand this,” he said while addressing the press.
Soon after, BJP hit out at Gehlot for engaging in ‘appeasement politics.’ “The law and order situation in Rajasthan is very bad. A dirty appeasement politics is being done there. The chief minister holds the home department portfolio – which means that the police administration directly comes under his control. Despite this, such appeasement is happening,” BJP leader Rajyavardhan Rathore was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Hours after violent clashes erupted between members of two communities in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur on Monday night leaving few policemen injured, fresh clashes broke out again in the area on Tuesday after morning prayers.
On Monday night, the incident took place at around 11 pm in Jodhpur’s Jalori Gate area. The clashes started over some flags that were put up on the occasion of Parashuram Jayanti, which is on the same day as Eid.
“There were flags of Lord Parashuram near the area where namaaz is offered. There was a dispute about removing the flags as the local Muslim community puts up a flag on the occasion of Eid,” said Additional Director General (Law and Order) Hawa Singh Ghumaria.
With the area being adjacent to the Eidgah and the possibility of a large number of people offering namaaz in the area on Eid, the police commissioner intervened and did not let the crowd come near the place. “But while dispersing, tension escalated and there was stone pelting. At present, the situation is under control and internet services have been suspended in Jodhpur,” Ghumaria added.
The police lobbed tear gas shells to control the situation hours before Eid in the hometown of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who has appealed to the people to maintain peace.
The chief minister asked the people to uphold brotherhood and called the incident unfortunate. “While respecting the tradition of love and brotherhood of Jodhpur, Marwar, I make a heartfelt appeal to all the parties to maintain peace and cooperate in restoring law and order,” he said in a tweet.
Gehlot said he has instructed the administration to maintain peace and order.