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Communalism

Karauli: Curfew Extended Till April 7 Following Communal Clashes

The police have said that 46 people have been arrested in connection with the incident and seven more have been taken in for interrogation.

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New Delhi: The curfew imposed in Rajasthan’s Karauli following the violent communal clash on April 2 has been extended till midnight of Thursday, April 7.

Karauli district collector Rajendra Shekhawat, while issuing the order to extend the curfew, said that the present circumstances were “not normal for the law and order situation”.

Relaxations are, however, being made for class 10 and 12 students appearing for their exams, who will be allowed to reach exam centres after showing their admit cards. 

Moreover, officials noted that a two-hour relaxation will be provided to allow people to step out and make essential purchases and further relaxations will come after considering the prevailing law and order situation.

The communal clashes had broken out after a motorcycle rally celebrating Nav Samvatsar (Hindu new year), while passing through a Muslim-majority neighbourhood, was pelted with stones.

Also read: Curfew in Place After Communal Clashes in Rajasthan’s Karauli

The violence quickly escalated, shops and vehicles were burnt and, according to the police, around 35 people were injured in the melee.

The rally had reportedly been organised by members of Hindu organisations, such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bajrang Dal.

In the wake of the violence, a curfew had been imposed, mobile internet services had been suspended and 600 police personnel, including 50 officers, had been deployed in the city. Moreover, three Indian Police Service (IPS) officers from Lucknow had been sent to Karauli.

According to the police, 46 individuals have been arrested and seven others have been taken in for interrogation. Cases have been registered against 13 accused.

Thereafter, 33 people have been arrested for violating the curfew order and 21 vehicles have been seized. 

On April 5, deputy leader of the opposition in the Rajasthan assembly Rajendra Rathore alleged that the stone-pelting on the motorcycle rally had been planned and that the sudden attack on the rally shows a failure of the police.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader also alleged that hundreds of stones had been collected by the residents of the Muslim locality in the days leading up the Hindu new year and chided the police for failing to conduct a ‘drone survey’ of the rooftops that day.

Rathore was part of the three-member BJP ‘fact-finding’ team that went to Karauli on Tuesday and is expected to prepare a report within three days. He said that the BJP will not allow people to be crushed by the Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s “politics of appeasement”.

The police have said that no untoward incident has been reported from the city since the clash and that the curfew was extended as a precaution. Mobile internet services remain suspended.

(With PTI inputs)