Communal clashes broke out in Bihar’s southern Aurangabad town during Ram Navmi processions for the second day on Monday, prompting the administration to impose curfew and make heavy deployment of police forces at sensitive areas.
Reports said around 60 people, including policemen, were injured in the riots that started after two groups, including one being part of a Ram Navami procession, brickbatted against each other near Jama Masjid on old GT Road in the town. Soon, several shops in the vicinity were torched.
“When a procession reached Islamtoli area, a stone-pelting incident was reported and a stampede-like situation arose. The stone-pelting started by both sides and the policemen had a hard time helping the procession pass through the area,” said a police official familiar with the situation.
As per reports, nearly 50 shops near Jama Masjid located on Old GT Road were torched by rioters, while nearly 60 persons, including 20 policemen were injured due to stone pelting by miscreants.
On Monday, on the occasion of Ram Navmi, one person was killed and five policemen injured in clashes as the Bhatriya Janata Party (BJP) and Sangh Parivar outfits, in defiance of the state government’s ban, organised armed rallies across West Bengal.
Sheikh Shahjahan, 55, of Purulia’s Bhursa village was killed when he was attacked by a mob while he was relieving himself near the village pond on Sunday.
ADG (law and order) Anuj Sharma said four policemen, including DSP (headquarters) Subrata Kumar Pal, were injured when they tried to intervene. Pal and his security guard, both in serious condition, were being brought to Kolkata for treatment.
Police said Sheikh Sahjahan died after he was trapped in a clash between Bajrang Dal activists and police forces in Purulia district on Sunday afternoon. The incident occurred in Beldi village, under Arsha police station, a Muslim-dominated area.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders also organised Ram Navami rallies across the state. Police sources said at least two of these, in North 24 Parganas, were armed rallies.