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Baran, Rajasthan: A verbal spat turned into Communal Violence

After two Hindu youth were stabbed by 5 Muslims on Saturday, 10th April, Chhabra in the Baran district of Rajasthan soon witnessed major communal clashes on 11th April.

On Saturday, 11th April, Kamal Singh, a resident of the Chhabra subdivision in the Baran district of Rajasthan was busy buying fruits from the market along with Dhakad Singh. Soon, both of them got engaged in an argument with five Muslim youth, three amongst them being- Fareed, Aabid, and Sameer. This trivial verbal argument soon took a dangerous turn when the Muslim youth took out a knife and attacked Kamal Singh and Dhakad. Horrified, the shopkeepers present intervened to stop the five attackers who included Fareed, Aabid, and Sameer. One of the shopkeepers, Rakesh Nagar was injured along with Kamal Singh and Dhakad Singh. All of them were rushed to the hospital and admitted there.

After Kamal and Dhakad were attacked, the police detained the three accused and interrogated them- this happened after a group of people had allegedly reached the police station to ask for legal action against the attackers. While the police nabbed these three accused late on Saturday night; the key accused was not arrested! On the morning of 11th April, a group of people from the victims’ community gathered at the Dharnavada intersection along with the family members of the attacked youth after they got to know of the incomplete police action. Soon, people belonging to both the Muslim and Hindu communities started pelting stones at each other which resulted in a stampede in the market.

According to reports, not only stones were pelted but six shops at the least, and many vehicles parked in the area were set on fire. After these were burned down, the power supply was cut off as a preventive measure to ward off further damage. On the evening of April 11th, a curfew was imposed and internet services were shut so that no misinformation or provocative messages could be shared. Internet services will remain suspended till 4 PM on Tuesday, 13th April.

Around 12 police personnel were injured while they were trying to bring back order in the area. The vehicles of the fire department were also attacked by some rioters. Other than the 6 shops burned down, others were ransacked and looted. After the police men failed to control the situation, they had to resort to unleashing lathi- charge and using tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

On learning about the sensitivities of the matter, SP Vinit Kumar Bansal and Collector Rajendra Vijay rushed to the spot to scrutinize the circumstances. Thankfully, the situation was under control by the evening. Additional forces were called from the police station nearby. Ravi Datt Gaur, IG Kota had also reached the spot. Nevertheless, section 144 has been imposed in Chhabra by the Collector.

The violence had erupted at a point while the family and community members of Kamal and Dhakad Singh resumed to stage their protests on Sunday morning and had asked for the closure of the shops in the area. When the protesting group was marching through the markets at Aliganj and Ajaj Ganj; that was when violence was unleashed. Luckily, no casualties were reported to have taken place as a result of the violent communal clashes.

While condemning the hapless incident, MLA and former Minister Pratap Singh Singhvi took to twitter and said, “The incident which took place at Chhabra today is condemnable. If the local police would have had taken the brawl between those boys seriously then whatever happened today could have been averted. After Saturday’s incident (wherein Kamal was attacked), if the local populace would have reckoned that the Rajasthan Police was probing the matter without being lethargic, then today’s circumstances would not have arisen”.

Soon, he posted another tweet saying, “Heavy losses faced by the innocent businessmen because of their shops being burned down right from Azad Circle to Aliganj and Lota Bheru is the failure of the local police force. I beseech everyone to maintain peace and want the Baran police to be cautious of implicating innocent beings into false cases of violence”.

Sonakshi Datta

Intern, Goa Chronicle

DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author

#Baran Rajasthan, #Rajasthan Police, #Baran Police, #Communal Tension, #Muslim Stabbers, #Arson, #Communal Violence


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