Violence was also reported from Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal on Sunday and all the four states have been put on high vigil.
In MP, clashes broke out when stones were allegedly thrown at a procession that started from Talab Chowk area following an altercation over playing music from loudspeakers. While police had to fire teargas shells to control the situation, parts of Khargone were placed under curfew after violence broke out during a Ram Navami procession, a senior police official said. Khargone’s Superintendent of Police Siddharth Choudhary received bullet injuries and at least 24 other people, including six policemen, were injured in the arson on Sunday. The administration on Monday launched a demolition drive against “illegal” structures of miscreants who pelted stones at the procession in Khargone.
Stones were pelted during a Ram Navami procession in Sendhwa town of MP’s Barwani district where a police station in-charge and five others were injured.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the culprits have been identified and action would be taken. Police have been deployed in large numbers to prevent any flare-up, he added.
In Gujarat, police arrested nine people for violence and stone-pelting during a procession at Khambhat in Anand while Section 144 was imposed in Himmatnagar town of Sabarkantha following a similar incident there. In Khambat, police superintendent Ajeet Rajyan said, “The body of an unidentified man, around 65 years old, was recovered from the spot where the two groups clashed during the procession.” Many were reportedly injured, as stone-pelting at similar processions were witnessed in Jharkhand’s Lohardaga.
In Howrah in Bengal, policemen have been positioned in large numbers after reports of clashes during a Ram Navami procession in Shibpur area.
Another instance of communal violence was seen in Bermo area of Bokaro during a procession.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi appealed for peace and harmony and said that “hate, violence and exclusion” were weakening the country. The VHP alleged that minority community leaders and Left liberals were to be blamed for the “attacks”.