Violent clashes between Muslims and Hindus erupted in the Indian states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand on Sunday during local celebrations of a Hindu religious holiday, prompting authorities in two of the three states to impose curfews or assembly bans later on Sunday, the India time reported Monday.
Hindu-majority communities across India detained celebrations on April 10 to honor the birth of the Hindu lord Ram, or the physical embodiment of the superior Hindu deity Vishnu. In Himmatnagar Municipality, Gujarat, local Muslim residents reportedly started throwing stones at a procession of Ram, sparking mass violence. Indian news site OpIndia provided a detailed account of the events of April 10, writing:
A Ram Navami Shobha Yatra or procession… in Gujarat was targeted by local Muslim thugs and stones were thrown at him. Besides the stone throwing, some vehicles were also vandalized during this incident.
The incident occurred in the afternoon as the Ram Navami procession passed through a predominantly Muslim locality called Chhapariya. The procession[…]was attacked when the Hindu religious procession reached the Muslim-dominated area. Several vehicles, which were part of the Ram Navami motorcade, were damaged in the attack, and an open Jeep was set on fire by the attackers.
A local government official in Himmatnagar named Hitesh Koya imposed a ban on gatherings on Sunday evening in response to the violence. The ordinance prohibits groups of more than more than five people from gathering in public and will remain in effect until April 13.
One person was killed and dozens injured as communal violence erupted in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal during Ram Navami celebrations on Sunday pic.twitter.com/ezVCRBe2Xf
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) April 11, 2022
A separate but similar incident occurred in the Gujarat town of Khambhat (located about 100 miles south of Himmatnagar) on April 10. Khambhat Muslims attacked a local procession of Ram with stones and incited violence which killed at least one person, according to local reports. Khambhat police confirmed on April 11 that they had arrested nine people involved in the unrest, including Hindu priests.
More than 35 people were injured in a new Muslim attack on a Ram procession in Madhya Pradesh state on April 10.
the India time reported on the situation in India’s central state on Monday, writing:
The curfew was imposed across the city of Khargone in Madhya Pradesh after stones thrown at a Ram Navami procession here sparked arson and set some vehicles and houses on fire, a senior official said on Monday. The incident happened on Sunday as devotees were celebrating Ram Navami. The police had to fire tear gas canisters to control the situation.
Following the incident, a curfew was imposed across the city of Khargone overnight from Sunday to Monday, Khargone Collector [District Magistrat] says Anugrah P.
Citizens were asked to leave their homes only in the event of a medical emergency, she said, adding that the situation was under control.
At least half a dozen people were injured by stone throwing in Hirahi-Hendlaso village in Jharkand state on April 10 in another tragic Muslim attack on a Hindu Ram festival. Two of those injured in the attack remained in hospital on Monday in “critical condition”, according to the India time.
“According to reports, some people started throwing stones at the crowd during the Ram Navami procession in the area. This led to a stampede and more than half a dozen people were injured [sic]“, relayed the newspaper.
“Later, people from both sides started throwing stones. As tension mounted, more than a dozen motorbikes and a van were torched at the fair. Two houses were also set on fire near Bhogta Garden,” according to the publication.