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HENB | Bokaro | April 16, 2016:: Curfew was imposed in four police station areas of Bokaro district in Jharkhand on Friday night following communal violence sparked by pelting of stones at a Ram Navami procession by rowdy Muslim miscreants. The police caused action and conveyed the updates to the press on Saturday.
Violence also took place on Friday in Hazaribagh district where too the trigger was pelting of stones at a Ram Navami procession.
“Curfew has been imposed in Bokaro. The situation is under control both in Hazaribagh and and Bokaro district,” Jharkhand Police spokesman S.N. Pradhan told it to the media persons on Saturday.
There were violent clashes between members of two communities in Siwandih suburb of Bokaro steel city when a Ram Navami procession was stopped and pelted with stones by the Jihadi elements.
Several people were injured in the violence, including some journalists and government officials. A mob also burnt three vehicles.
In Hazaribagh, the trouble spot was Keredari where violence erupted after a Ram Navami procession was stopped by communal Muslims. Several people were injured and some houses were set on fire.
One person also reportedly died in the violence, but the police said the death was unrealted to the communal clashes.
“An elderly person in the troubled area died after slipping from stairs,” Pradhan said.
Actually, curfew was clamped in the steel city of Bokaro at about 8.45pm at four places after police resorted to lathicharge and fired teargas shells to control an angry mob of Muslim youths who had allegedly pelted stones on a procession led by Bokaro MLA Viranchi Narain around 6pm.
More than two dozen people were hurt, including Bokaro deputy commissioner R.M. Ray, 10 policemen and three journalists, one of them a photographer of The Telegraph News paper.
Barely half an hour later in Hazaribagh, at least six persons were injured in stone pelting when a Ram Navami procession passed through Pandu village, around 60km from the district headquarters. Later, an earthmover was set on fire.
Hazaribagh SP Akhilesh Kumar Jha reached the village promptly with additional forces. The situation, he said, was now under control. The police were talking to elderly members of all communities to ensure that there was no further flare-up.
P.K. Singh, an eyewitness to the Bokaro incident, said a group of fanatic youths attacked a Ram Navami procession from Ritudih when it reached Sivandih and was on its way to Railway Gate. While the journalists started taking pictures, they too were attacked.
Soon, a posse of over 200 policemen was deployed in the area after which tempers cooled. Deputy commissioner Ray and superintendent of police Y.S Ramesh rushed to the spot and spoke on the public address system to restore order.
But by then, the mob had set fire to four vehicles, including two trucks, and an eatery, Food Point, at Sivandih on NH-23, barely 3km from Bokaro city. By 10pm, the situation was brought under control. Before that there was gross trouble on NH23 Ramghar-Bokaro-Dhanbad Road near Siwandih.
Curfew was imposed in Bokaro steel city area, Maraphari, Balidih and Sector XII police station areas. Curfew in Balidih means no heavy vehicles can enter from Ramgarh, Ranchi and Hazaribagh.
Hundreds of Akhada committees took out processions across the twin districts which marked the end of the nine-day Ram Navami celebrations which coincided with Hanuman Jayanti on Saturday.
Thousands of devotees from over several Akharas of Jharia, Katrash, Hirapur, JP Mallick Road, Tikiyapara, Maaripara, Premchand Nagar, Matkoria in Dhanbad as well as Sector-3, Sector 9, Ram Mandir, Yuva Kranti Dal Chas, Bajrangbali Puja Samitee and Mahavir Akhada Chas displayed their skills of valour and bravery especially in Dhanbad and in Bokaro.
Hundreds of makeshift stalls of different organisations as well as religions were found distributing grams and juices among the devotees, who were performing dare devil acts during the procession.
Enough police forces and para-military forces were deployed to manage the massive crowd during procession in twin cities. Forces are now keeping strict vigils at sensitive areas to check further violence.
This time BJP Govt in Jharkhand failed to curb the fundamental Jihadi elements from their ulterior motive to violate the Hindu processions on Ram Navami in Bokaro and Hazaribagh.
In many other places in Jharkhand Ram Navami was observed peacefully.