A cop injured in the Karauli violence in Rajasthan has alleged that the communal clash on April 2 was sparked by a planned attack on a religious procession.
In his complaint, Karauli Kotwali SHO Rameshwar Dayal Meena said that a rally was being conducted by members of a few Hindu organisations on the occasion of ‘Nav Samvatsar’, the first day of Hindu New Year. The complaint stated that the violence started when the rally was pelted with stones while passing through a Muslim-dominated neighbourhood.
Around 42 people were reportedly injured when stones were pelted at a motorcycle rally passing through a Muslim-dominated area to mark Nav Samvatsar, spawning violence that saw shops and vehicles being set on fire.
He said that the rally was passing by peacefully. “Police tried to intervene, but stones and sticks rained on them from Muslim houses and a mosque,” the complaint read.
The police have arrested 40 people so far.
According to the police, the yatra was being conducted with permission. But before it could reach its destination, some people attacked the rally and spread violence in the presence of the police. Six policemen were injured in their attempts to control the violence.
Earlier, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said: “Some miscreants happened to be there. They could have been from any religion. The common man was harmed [by the miscreants’ actions].” He ordered the police to nab the perpetrators at the earliest and take strict action against them.
BJP state president Satish Poonia claimed the attack on the bike rally was “planned” and blamed the incident on the Congress government for its policy of “appeasement”.