What led to communal violence in Jodhpur on Eid

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Khan Iqbal | India Tomorrow

Jaipur—Five days on, scars of communal violence are still fresh among many people in Jodhpur.

Police have registered 12 FIRs and arrested 141 people. Of whom 133 have been arrested for breach of peace under section 151.

Curfew was imposed in 10 police station areas of Jodhpur till midnight on Wednesday. It was later extended till Thursday midnight.

What led to the violence?

Eid-ul-Fitr, Parshuram Jayanti, and Akshaya Tritiya were to be celebrated on May 3. On May 2, saffron flags were put up at the Jalori Gate intersection in the Muslim-dominated area of Jodhpur.

Like every year, the Muslim community put up the Eid flag at the Jalauri Gate intersection. Reports said the flag was put up after the permission of the administration and BJP leaders. Later, a rumor spread that the Muslim community had raised the Pakistan flag by uprooting the saffron flag.

There is a statue of freedom fighter Balmukund Bissa at Jalauri Gate. A rumor started spreading that Muslims have covered the Balmukund Bissa statue with black tape.

At midnight, BJP workers started gathering at Jalori Gate and brought down the Eid flag. They also smashed loudspeakers installed for Eid prayers.

An altercation ensued between the two communities. Police used lathi charge to disperse the mob. Later, the administration mediated between BJP leaders and the Muslim community, and it was decided that the Eid prayer will be held peacefully.

But some BJP leaders said they would not allow Muslims to offer prayers on the road.

Tension on Eid

Tension mounted on Eid when Muslims saw the saffron flag hoisted at Jalori Gate. There was an argument between the BJP workers and the Muslim community. Soon the violence erupted.

Curfew was imposed in Jodhpur at 10 am after violence and clashes that lasted for more than an hour.

“On every Eid, a flag is put up. This time Eid flags cause riots. People were instigated. They alleged that the Pakistan flag has been unfurled. Rumors also spread that the saffron flag was being lowered. Jalori Gate area is very near to Idgah. BJP leaders broke the loudspeakers,” Azam Khan, a resident of Jalori Gate area, told India Tomorrow.

Media exaggerating the matter:

Azam Khan is saddened by one-sided media coverage., “Okay, there was a clash but it was not as fierce as the media is showing. When we are watching TV, we cannot believe that this is happening to us. The ground reality is different. The media just wants to sensationalize,” he said

BJP instigated violence: Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot accused the BJP of instigating the violence. “BJP and RSS are trying to set the state on fire. They are inciting violence. They want to provoke riots in the state. We took action quickly. I want to urge BJP to spare Rajasthan. No one has the right to resort to violence and kill innocent people. We will not tolerate this,” he said.

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