Communal Clashes: Tension Prevails in Bihar's 4 Districts, CM Nitish Orders Action Against Miscreants
Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI
Patna: Communal tension continued to persist in four districts of Rohtas, Nalanda, Bhagalpur, and Gaya on Saturday, a day after clashes between two communities over a minor dispute during Ram Navami processions.
The state government has imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in Sasaram town, the district headquarters of Rohtas and Biharsharif, and the district headquarters of Nalanda. The administration has also suspended internet services in both towns till Sunday and security forces have been heavily deployed.
Most of the markets and educational institutions have remained closed since Friday in both the towns and roads wore a deserted look as the number of vehicles on the roads was reduced to one-fourth.
The authorities have deployed additional security forces in villages under Chakand block in Gaya and Naugachia town in Bhagalpur following the clashes between two communities in connection with a Ram Navami procession.
The police have arrested 53 people allegedly involved in communal trouble including pelting stones, attacking and looting shops, and torching vehicles.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday told media here that it appears that trouble during the Ram Navami procession was “deliberately created” by some people. "It is a sad matter, but action would be taken against miscreants. No one will be spared. I have directed top officials to probe into it in detail to ensure action against people behind such incidents".
Kumar said such incidents were not a law and order issue but were created to widen the social gap between the two communities. “There was a peaceful environment in Bihar for a long time; suddenly, what has caused these incidents?” he questioned.
A day after communal clashes in Sasaram, senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah's proposed visit to Sasaram (on April 2) to address a public meeting was cancelled, according to state BJP president Samrat Choudhary.
Shah is arriving in Patna on a two-day visit to the state to meet top party leaders on Saturday night. He is expected to address a public meeting in the Nawada district.
Ruling RJD and JD-U leaders have blamed the BJP and right-wing organisations for communal incidents ahead of Shah’s visit.
According to reports from Sasaram, the district headquarters of Rohtas, situated at a distance of about 150 km from Patna, at least 18 people were injured in violent clashes. The trouble began on Thursday night at Sahajlal locality during the Ram Navami procession organised by Right-wing Hindu organisations when some local people reportedly opposed some youths for parking their motorcycles and objected to the slogans being raised. After the procession moved ahead, some local residents reportedly damaged a few motorcycles and allegedly beat two or three youths returning from the procession. But the police immediately intervened and controlled the situation by talking to both communities, according to reports.
However, on Friday, angry over the night’s incident, some youths belonging to the majority community took to the streets and allegedly started pelting stones and attacking people at several places in the town. This was followed by clashes between the two communities in which over a dozen people were injured, including two police officials.
As per reports, miscreants set ablaze a few houses, vehicles were torched and crude bombs were lobbed at a few houses.
Frightened after communal violence, some people reportedly fled to safer places for safety on Saturday.
In Biharsharif, the violent clashes took place after an alleged dispute over the route of a Ram Navami procession and loud music on Friday evening. After that, over 12 vehicles were torched, and a fire was opened due to which some people sustained bullet injuries and over a dozen were injured in stone pelting, said a police official in Nalanda, the home district of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
A few shops, including an electronic appliances showroom, were looted by miscreants and ransacked.
A senior police official at police headquarters here said that despite the tension, the situation is under control and additional security forces have been deployed. “The administration is fully alert to maintain peace,” they said.
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