Clashes in Jodhpur after mob hoisted saffron flags, took down loudspeakers for Eid prayer

A clash between members of Hindu and Muslim communities escalated into stone-pelting and led to a few policemen getting injured and internet services being suspended in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur city after Hindu groups hoisted a flag on a freedom fighter’s statue near Eid Gah in Jodhpur’s Jalori Gate area late on Monday night.

“There were flags of [Hindu deity] Parashuram near the area where namaaz is offered,” Additional Director General of Police Hawa Singh Ghumaria said. “There was a dispute about removing the flags as the local Muslim community puts up a flag [every year] on the occasion of Eid.”

With the area being adjacent to the Eidgah and the possibility of a large number of people offering namaaz in the area on Eid, the police commissioner intervened and did not let the crowd come near the place, Indian Express reported.

The Hindu mob took down loudspeakers that had been installed in the area for Eid prayers, according to ANI.

The district administration has suspended internet services since 1 am on Tuesday as a precautionary measure.

Rajasthan Chief Ashok Gehlot who described the clashes as unfortunate said the administration has been instructed to maintain peace and order at all costs.

“The tension resulting from a clash between two groups in Jodhpur’s Jalori gate is unfortunate. I have instructed the administration to maintain peace and order at any cost. Respecting the tradition of love and brotherhood in Jodhpur, Marwar, I appeal to all sides to help in maintaining peace and law and order,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted on Tuesday morning.

This comes a month after on 2 April, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bajrang Dal, took out a bike rally on Hindu New Year in Karauli, Rajasthan. When the rally passed a Muslim-dominated area, Islamophobic songs were put on high volume in the procession.

The lyrics of the song are: “Jis din jaag utha Hindut, toh ye anjaam bolega. Ki topi wala sar jhuka ke Jai Sri Ram bolega. Jis din khola khoon mera, dikha denge aukat teri. Fir toh hum nahi bolenge, bas bolegi talwaar meri.”

Dozen of Muslim traders were looted, vandalised selectively and set on fire by the local Hindutva mob after some people from the rally pelted stones at the mosque while passing it.