New Delhi: Six people, including two home guards and four civilians, were killed and hundred others injured as a mob in Haryana’s Nuh district tried to stop a Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) procession, pelting stones and setting cars on fire, officials said.
Security around religious places has been strengthened. Both the police and administration held meetings with prominent members of both communities to ensure peace, police said.
The Haryana Police have filed 44 FIRs and arrested 139 culprits so far to investigate the communal riots that broke out in Nuh and Gurugram districts where police and central forces have been deployed in large numbers to keep the tense situation under control.
Section 144 has been imposed for 48 hours from July 31 midnight in Nuh and mobile internet services have been temporarily suspended in the district.
The clash started on July 31 when a Brij Mandal Jalabhishek Yatra, organized by the VHP, was stopped by a group of young men on the Gurugram-Alwar National Highway.
Mobile internet and SMS services in Haryana’s Nuh and some other places in the state will remain suspended till August 5, the state government said.
As the violence escalated, government and private vehicles were targeted by the mob. Towards evening, violence spread to the Gurugram-Sohna highway, where several cars were torched and stones were thrown at the police, sources said.
About 2,500 people, who had come to Nuh to take part in the procession, were stranded in a temple due to the violence outside. They were rescued by police later in the evening.
Reports say the clash was triggered by an objectionable video posted on social media by a Bajrang Dal activist. Sources said Bajrang Dal member Monu Manesar and his associates had circulated the video a few days ago.
Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and others will be closely examined and scanned for any provocative posts, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said.
Five godowns were set ablaze and two meat shops ransacked in Gurugram district late on August 1 night by mobs and the next day, two ‘jhuggis’ were torched and a tea shop vandalized.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has assured that the state government will take strict action against those responsible for the violence, adding that prohibitory orders remain in force in Nuh, Gurugram and other affected districts.
Violence part of larger conspiracy: BJP
The BJP has claimed that the violence in Haryana’s Nuh was part of a larger conspiracy which will be exposed after investigation. “This violence raises many questions. This was a part of a larger conspiracy and it will come after the investigation, ” BJP spokesperson Sudhansu Trivedi said at a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi, without naming anyone, referring to the Nuh violence.
The BJP spokesperson said the Haryana government has worked with alertness and sensitivity to bring the situation in control.
Divide and rule politics has disturbed peace: Priyanka Gandhi
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the policy of divide and rule peace has disturbed peace in the country. She appealed to the people to unite against the forces that create barriers of caste, religion and hatred, and boost ‘mohabbat ki dukan’ (shop that spreads love).
“Today, peace has been disturbed… This shameful and condemnable situation is the result of the politics of ‘divide and rule’,” she said in a tweet. “Such politics is the biggest enemy of your issues, your employment and progress. The forces that create barriers of caste, religion and hatred between people are actually working to suppress your issues. We have to unite and raise our voice against this and keep ‘Mohabbat Ki Dukan’ high. The path of progress will be made only through peace and harmony,” the Congress general secretary added.