When it happened on 2 April, which was the New Year of Vikram Samvat 2079 and also Ram Navami, no media house had named Muslims who had pelted stones at a motorcycle rally celebrating Hindu New Year as it was passing through their neighbourhood, thus triggering communal clashes in the area. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has taken recourse to cliché, saying that the country has been divided along “communal” lines sunce the BJP-led NDA came to power. Not to be outdone, the BJP has accused the Rajasthan Congress government for its “appeasement” of Muslims.
Recalling the clash in Ram Navami, Rajasthan Police said that on 2 April in Karauli, rioters burned shops and vehicles and that 35 people were injured in the clashes that day. ADG (Administration and Law and Order) Hawa Singh Ghumaria said, “Hindu groups were taking out a motorcycle rally on the occasion of the Hindu new year that evening. When the procession reached a place near a mosque, some miscreants pelted stones at them. Those in the procession set two-wheelers and shops on fire.”
The officer said the police deployed in the disturbed area had brought the situation under control.
Yesterday, the city remained under strict curfew even as the police took more than a dozen people into preventive custody. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has also been instituted to probe the flare-up.
Rajasthan Police arrested 46 people, detained seven and impounded 21 vehicles even as the curfew continued and Internet remained shut in Rajasthan’s Karauli which witnessed violence on 2 April.
Bharatpur Range Inspector General of Police Prasanna Kumar Khamesra confirmed the arrests on Monday. He said that after stone pelting took place during the procession in the Futa Kot area Main Bazaar Karauli on Saturday, the police acted promptly and arrested 46 people and took seven in police custody for interrogation.
“So far 13 accused have been arrested in connection with the incident registered at Police Station Karauli and 33 people were arrested for violating the curfew order. Seven people have been taken into police custody for questioning. A total of 21 two-wheelers and four wheelers were also seized by the police during this period,” said Khamsera.
The IG said that in view of the sensitivity of the incident, he along with his team immediately reached Karauli and took stock of the situation along with Superintendent of Police Karauli Shailendra Singh Indolia.
“We called the necessary police force and RAC from other districts of the range and imposed them on the spot for peace and order,” the IG said.
The police force also did a flag march in the city. “Right now the situation is under control but curfew has been imposed in the city as a precaution,” said the IG.
After curfew was imposed on Karauli, the district administration relaxed the restrictions on movement of people for two hours starting 8 AM on 3 April. Union and Rajasthan government offices, courts, and centres of the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education remained open and exempted from the curfew.