Every year we monitor communal riots in India. Here is the
account of riots, which took place in 2007, which we could monitor
through various sources. The first minor riot took place in Bandi
district, near Jaipur in Rajasthan on 18th January. Five persons
were injured and 7 shops were set to fire when riot broke out when
persons belonging to Muslims entered a Gym about which there was
controversy and fight broke out between persons belonging to two
communities. Of the 5 persons injured one was a policeman and 7
shops burnt resulted in huge economic loss. Police brought the
rioting under control and curfew was imposed.
Indore in M.P. has become another sensitive area where communal
violence breaks out of and on 21st January clashes broke out between
workers of BJP and minority community and this trouble began after
some people belonging to minority community showed swords to a BJP
office bearer. Several people were injured in Mukripura where
rioting broke out and a motorcycle was set afire. Police officer
Anshuman Yadav said that situation was brought under control and
police had to use teargas shells to disperse mob. There was tension
in the whole city.
Bangalore saw outbreak of communal violence on 21st January two
days after Muslims had demonstrated on Friday against hanging of
Saddam Husain in Iraq. Police fired and in Shivajinagar area one
person died and 3 were injured. In fact before this rally there was
communal tension and there was incident of stoning in which 50
persons were injured. Then the Hindu Virat Mahasabha took out Shobha
Yatra on the occasion of 100th birth centenary of Guru Golwalkar and
the yatris set several places on fire. The police fired in which one
man was killed and a police constable was stabbed. Other 4 police
officials were also injured. About 20 civilians were also injured.
The violent mob set five buses and several cars to fire. Many shops
belonging to Muslims were also set ablaze.
Next it was turn of Gorakhpur, U.P. where on the occasion of
Muharram on 27th January (on 7th Muharram procession) there was
stoning from some houses in Khotipura area. About a dozen persons
were injured in stoning from both sides. The violent mob set fire to
one Mazar (shrine) and one car. Curfew was imposed in three areas.
Communal tension erupted after one person Agarhari was killed in
firing by some unknown person.
However, Gorakhpur continued to burn for couple of days more.
Violence again broke out on 29th January when the BJP M.P. Yogi
Adityanath was arrested for provoking violence. The demonstrators
set ablaze three jeeps and several commercial establishments. The
Government of U.P. suspended District Magistrate and S.P. for
failing to control communal violence. One person had died and
several injured in communal violence and so curfew was imposed in
three areas. In fact violence continued as Adityanath is known for
provoking communal violence. The Central Government had to think of
sending central forces to control violence. Sriprakash Jaiswal,
Minister of State for Home in the Centre said this after touring
riot affected areas of Gorakhpur.
Next communal incident broke out in Beawar town of Rajgarh
district, M.P. On 1st February fight broke out between two
communities when some posters about a programme were torn and this
became cause of violence. There was intense fighting between members
of two communities. Several shops and cars were set to fire. Then
curfew was imposed and orders were issued to fire on any one
violating curfew. The administration also imposed ban on all
politicians from entering the area. About 40 persons were arrested
for indulging in violence.
Indore again witnessed communal violence on 12th February. The
violence broke out when it was rumoured that a Muslim youth beat a
Hindu girl. Soon crowds gathered and violent incidents began.
Several vehicles were burnt and 10 persons were injured. Violence
was so intense that police had to fire in the air and curfew was
imposed in three police station areas.
There were minor clashes in Jaipur on 16th February in Lodon ki
Gali in Jaipur city of Rajasthan when a Muslim threw chicken waste
in a gutter and the Hindus raised hue and cry and stoning started in
which 10 persons were injured. Police arrested 10 persons. Police
also arranged a meeting of the elders of the two communities for
peace, which had salutary effect.
Another incident of communal violence occurred in Aliganj area of
Sultanpur when some boys of majority community indulged in eve
teasing and used unbecoming language against some girls going to a
photo studio. When this news spread in no time people from both the
communities gathered and began stoning each other. Many persons were
injured of which two persons, one Hindu and one Muslim were critical
and several vehicles were set ablaze. Some firing also took place
from both sides.
Darbhanga in Bihar witnessed communal violence due to desecration
of one grave belonging to Muslim community. 12 persons were injured.
Similarly communal violence broke out in Chittorgarh District at
Begin Tehsil on 18th March because some processionists threw gulal
on a mosque. Police arrested 70 persons. Thus violence was
Poonch in Jammu part of J&K witnessed communal violence when
1000 strong group of Muslims occupied a plot of land belonging to a
BJP leader and constructed a mosque. The incident occurred on 24th
March. The police intervened and stopped construction of mosque.
Next day people again began to construct mosque and then riots broke
out injuring 20 people when police stopped them and demolished the
incomplete structure. Over 25 people many of them policemen were
injured in pitched battles between police and rioters. As tension
mounted police imposed curfew and sealed off all approach roads and
shut down the local telephone exchange. As violence continued army
was called in and construction of mosque was stopped.
On 28th March there was trouble in Lalgaon, 40 kms from Jamnagar,
in Gujarat when a girl participant in a Ramnaumi procession was
teased. The processionists were provoked and stoning started. The
mob set fire to the house and shop of the teaser. The police had to
lathicharge the mob. The police then arrested the youth who had
teased the girl and police bandobast was made in the town.
Madhya Pradesh (M.P.) has become highly communal violence prone
since BJP has come to power there. On April 1 again there was
communal violence in Narsinghgadh town of Rajgarh district when two
processions Hanuman Jayanti and Miladun Nabi procession were being
taken out. The processionists of Hanuman Jayanti stopped near a
mosque and began shouting anti-Muslim slogans, a police official
said. It was also reported that one person died but it could not be
ascertained whether it was riot related death. To control the
situation five additional companies of SAF, RAF and STF were rushed
to Narshinghgadh. Police also had to fire and use teargas shells to
disperse unruly mobs of the two communities.
Later three bodies were discovered killed in communal violence.
More than 100 persons were arrested and illegal weapons seized in
raids. Two bodies were discovered in a pond and one person died as a
teargas shell hit him. The analysts said that these riots are clear
sign of BJP?s poll preparations. The party, it is said, is out to
repeat Gujarat experiment.
On 12th April Umarkhed, in Nander district, Maharashtra witnessed
communal violence. A Muslim youth Zamir was murdered by some unknown
persons and when his funeral procession was being taken out some
people in the procession burnt a travel bus. Then a Shiv Sena leader
summoned Shiv Sainiks and Bajrang Dal activists and began looting
and burning hundreds of shops. Police arrested many miscreants
looting and burning shops. Some Muslim youth also then retaliated
and both sides suffered losses worth lakhs of rupees. To control the
situation additional police forces were summoned.
Shahjahanpur, M.P. witnessed communal violence on 13th May in
which 6 persons were injured including 3 women. It was told by
police authorities that violence broke out when two buses carrying
marriage parties belonging to two communities clashed on the
question of giving way to the bus. Police reached on the spot and
separated two fighting groups.
Ahmedabad the communally most sensitive city saw minor clashes
between Hindus and Muslims on 14th June when a truck carrying mutton
was stoned by miscreants. Soon members of both the communities began
stoning each other in which 18 persons were injured. However, police
intervened and controlled situation.
On August 14 Tenkasi town known for fireworks manufacturing
witnessed communal violence in which 6 persons were killed. The
violence broke out on the question of constructing mosque opposite a
temple. There was old enmity between two groups. A year before Hindu
Munnani leader Kumar Pandian was stabbed to death allegedly by
members of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam. Munnani activists
retaliated by stabbing TMMK leader Sait Khan who survived. Thus
situation was simmering and clashes occurred in the market place and
six persons were killed.
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