Rajasthan: Day after communal violence, uneasy calm prevails in Baran

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Kota (Raj), Apr 12 (PTI) A day after communal clashes at Chhabra town of Baran district here, an uneasy calm prevailed under police watch even as the curfew continued and internet services remained suspended.

Dozens of vehicles and shops were torched and vandalised by mobs as communal violence broke out on Sunday in the town following the stabbing of two youths. Around five police personnel were injured in the violence.

According to officials, the situation is peaceful with no untoward incident of violence being reported.

However, additional police force under the monitoring of senior officers is deployed at every corner of the town to maintain law and order.

The Baran district administration and police held meetings with community liaising groups and community representatives and urged them to maintain harmony and law and order in the town, Superintendent of Police, Baran, Vineet Bansal said.

Shopkeepers and traders affected by the violence were asked to file a police report, he added.

“The situation in Chhabra is under control and peaceful… At least six FIRs have been lodged in connection with the violence on Sunday,” Bansal said.

People involved in the arson and violence are being identified, he added.

At least four to five policemen sustained injuries in the violence, however, no loss of life and injury among civilians was reported, the SP said.

“Some people allegedly involved in the violence on Sunday have also been detained,” he said refusing to disclose the number of people or their names.

Meanwhile, some of the victims of violence have come forward.

According to Kalu Gurjar, owner of an eatery in Aliganj area of the town, a mob of around 10 to 15 people armed with sticks and iron rods damaged his outlet and fled with around Rs 40,000 cash.

“I have today (Monday) filed a police report and identified one of them,” he said.

Locals said a mobile showroom owned by one Arun Garg at Azad Circle was vandalised causing him an estimated loss of Rs 30-40 lakhs.

The curfew and suspension of internet services till 4 pm Tuesday hit normal life as locals struggled to get access to essentials goods like milk, bread, and eggs.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan BJP's “probe committee” formed by the party's state chief Satish Punia under MP Sukhbir Singh Jonpuria and comprising MLA Sandeep Sharma, Chandrakanta Meghwal and state executive member Anand Garg reached Kota and tried to move towards Chhabra but was stopped by police.

Later in the day, the BJP leaders held a press conference in Kota and blamed the state government for the violence. They claimed that the Congress government was “partial towards one side” and accused the district police of failing to deal with the incident at primary stage.

“The state government and police are trying to protect one community even though the other community has suffered heavy losses and its members are being booked by authorities,” said Sharma.

The probe committee then met senior police officers including the inspector general in Kota and demanded fair investigation and arrest of the culprits within two days, Sharma said. PTI COR RHL