The Islamist violence on Ram Navami processions in two different towns of Madhya Pradesh has left at least 31 people injured, including 8 policemen. 16-year-old Shivam Shukla is struggling for life, after he was admitted in a critical condition with head injury due to the stone pelting.
Khargone Superintendent of Police (SP) Siddharth Choudhary received a bullet injury and besides him, at least 24 people, including six policemen, were injured in Khargone. The SP said that while one youth rushed at him with a sword, another opened fire. In similar stone-pelting at a Ram Navami procession in Sendhwa town of Barwani district, SHO Baldev Singh Mujalde and five others were injured.
Shivam is admitted to a private hospital in Indore and was operated upon on Sunday night. His condition remains critical.
The Ram Navami procession in Khargone had to be abandoned midway after the violence. A temple was also vandalised and murtis broken, and there are videos allegedly showing fire bombs being thrown at Hindu temples/properties at night. Chilling ground reports have emerged in the aftermath of the violence on how Hindus living in mixed-population areas of the town have been harassed for long, and were threatened with rape and worse on Sunday.
CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered that the houses and shops used to pelt stones on the procesioners be demolished. A claim tribunal is also being set up as per MP’s Damage to Public and Private Property Recovery Act, to recover losses to public and private property damaged by rioters.
However, the administration needs to do more to instill security in local Hindus as a fresh exodus is being reported from Khargone, similar to how rattled Hindus in Karauli, Rajasthan are planning to sell properties and leave after being betrayed by Muslim neighbours alongside whom they had lived for years.
As is their wont, most English-language mainstream and digital news outlets are turning the entire incident on its head to brand it as ‘anti-Muslim’ violence triggered by ‘provocative songs played in front of mosques’.
Similar anti-Hindu violence was unleashed in several states on Sunday. In Khambat, Gujarat, the stone pelting claimed the life of Kanaiyalal Rana (60) and investigators have arrested some local maulvis for instigating the violence and foreign funds flow is also suspected.