As Ram Navami preparations were underway across the country, Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar witnessed violence on the eve of the festival. Unleashing violence during Hindu festivals including stone pelting has become a regular affair.
According to reports, the incident occurred between 1 and 1.30 last night in the Kiradpura area. News channels state that a fight between ‘two groups’ escalated into full-fledged violence. It has come to light that stones were pelted at the youth who had assembled outside the Ram Mandir for the Ram Navami festivities.
In the violence that followed, 13 vehicles in all including police and private ones were set on fire by the miscreants. Media said some policemen were injured (CP said none were injured) and the police resorted to firing in the air and teargas shells to bring the situation under control.
“We have dispersed the crowd and at present the situation is peaceful. Our first priority is to ensure that peace prevails in the city and Ram Navami festivities are conducted properly. We will take strict action against the culprits. Those who indulged in stone-pelting and burning of vehicles would be identified and arrested. No policeman has been injured”, Police Commissioner (CP) Nikhil Gupta told the media.
He further said that they have not taken action against anyone as of now since they were busy bringing the situation under control. He further added that they have clues as to which area the culprits were from and once the situation is completely under control the police would begin combing operations to detain and arrest the culprits.
It must be mentioned that a police force was stationed outside the Kiradpura Ram Mandir as preparations for the Ram Navami celebration were going on at the temple. An all-party leadership visited the area to request people maintain peace and harmony.
The police said the mandir is safe and no damage has occurred to the temple and the police asked the public not to believe in rumours. They also requested people not to forward messages, videos, and photographs without verifying them. In the meanwhile, the number of police forces stationed in the area was increased keeping in view the Ram Navami celebration. The situation is being monitored and further investigation would be undertaken after the situation is completely under police control.
It must be mentioned that AIMIM MP Imtiaz Jaleel earlier tweeted about ‘show of strength’ to register his protest against the change of name. He has been leading Islamist protests against the name change.
(Featured Image Source: News 18 Marathi)