Jaipur: The murder of a 22-year-old man in Bhilwara, which prompted Rajasthan authorities to suspend internet services in the city, is the latest in a string of violent incidents that have rocked the state, indeed the country, recently.Starting April several states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh – have witnessed violence during religious festivals, including Ram Navami and Eid.Here’s a timeline of the violence in Rajasthan.
Last week authorities imposed curfew in 10 police station areas of Jodhpur and suspended mobile internet services as communal tension mounted in the city, after two communities clashed.
Police said the hoisting of a flag on Eid (Monday May 2) on the statue of freedom fighter Balmukund Bissa near Jalori Gate led to clashes.
Police had to resort to lathi charge and fire tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. Reports stated that at least four policemen were injured in the ensuing clashes.
On Tuesday morning, clashes broke out again. Reports said people had come to offer namaz in the area but were sloganeering and trying to remove a saffron flag, which replaced the previous flag they had installed. When the authorities tried to stop them, they got angry and engaged in violence.
On April 22, tensions ran high in Alwar when the administration demolished a 300-year-old Shiva temple. As per TV reports, the temple was brought down by bulldozers and the idols were displaced using cutters.The BJP and its affiliate organisations denounced the operation and organised an ‘aakrosh’ rally.
On April 2, communal clashes erupted in Karauli after a bike rally organised on the occasion of the Hindu New Year allegedly met with a stone-pelting incident as they passed through a market, leading to a confrontation between two groups.
The clashes led to arson as shops and vehicles were set ablaze, while over two dozen people sustained injuries.
The police imposed Section 144 in the area and also suspended mobile internet services. A curfew was also imposed for the next three days.
Violence linked to polls?
Rajasthan will hold elections next year. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has blamed the violence on the BJP.
“It all began with Karauli [violence during a rally to mark Nav Samvatsar]. Although Rajasthan was peaceful during Ram Navami, this [Karauli’s] modus operandi was used across the seven states that reported violence on Ram Navami. I had said even then that it was the BJP’s design to incite riots across the country,” the CM told a news magazine.
“When the temple was demolished in Alwar, there was a BJP board. They had passed the proposal [to demolish the temple]. Yet they blamed Congress,” he said.
The BJP, on the other hand, has blamed the Congress’ “appeasement” politics for the violence.