60-year old Kanaiyalal Rana was participating in a peaceful Ram Navami procession yesterday in Khambat, Anand district, Gujarat. As the procession was passing through a Muslim-dominated area namely Shakkarpura, heavy stone pelting broke out on the processioners.
Kanaiyalal was hit by the stones and rushed to a local medical facility for medical treatment. Due to his critical condition, he was later moved to Petlad for further treatment, but passed away last evening. Kanaiyalal’s funeral procession is taking place today morning amid heavy police cover.
As is the norm every year during Hindu festival celebrations, stone pelting and arson were reported from several states like Gujarat, West Bengal, MP, Jharkhand, Karnataka during Ram Navami processions yesterday as they passed through ‘sensitive’ (aka Muslim-dominated) parts.
In Gujarat, apart from the attack in Khambat, stone pelting also occurred on a Ram Navami procession in a Muslim-dominated area of Himmatnagar, Sabarkantha district. Apart from stone-pelting, some vehicles were also vandalized in this attack and police too were attacked.
This is how these attacks in Gujarat were covered by sections of mainstream media:
These unprovoked – unless the mere sight of a Hindu festival procession, carried out with full police approval, is considered ‘provocative’ – attacks were reported as ‘group clashes’!
On April 2, Hindu New Year day that falls on the first day of the 9-day Chaitra Navratri festival which concludes with Ram Navami, a bike rally in Karauli, Rajasthan was attacked and several shops were burnt in pre-planned violence by a Muslim councillor Matloob Ahmed, who allegedly has links to PFI and Congress. Rajasthan DGP blamed ‘provocative’ slogans and ‘unauthorised’ DJ music for the violence. However, the rally had all the necessary permissions and was accompanied by a police escort and the slogans that were raised – Bharat Mata ji jai, Vande Mataram, Jai Sri Ram – can be judged for their ‘provocativeness’ by readers.