Communal violence in Jodhpur, local Muslim women allege police brutality

Violence, including stone pelting and arson, took place near the Eidgah at Jodhpur’s Soorsagar region. Videos from the site have emerged where local women can be seen claiming that they were dragged out of their houses and assaulted. BJP’s local MLA Devendra Joshi has also told the media that those who have assaulted these men, women and children should be charged against.
Image: PTI

Late Friday night, on June 21st, communal violence reportedly took place Jodhpur’s Soor Sagar area. This has resulted in two police men being injured and 51 people arrested in the wake of the violence. A shop was also set on fire and two vehicles were damaged.

As per news reports by PTI, the issue took place with relation to the construction of a gate near an Eidgah at Rajaram Circle of the city. 

What actually happened? 

As per news reports, local residents had begun to oppose construction of two gates at the back of the Eidgah. The locals had reportedly objected because they claimed, as per Hindustan Times, that the construction was against the rules of the local municipality.

These locals, says the reports, had started to protest when the inauguration of these gates began to take place. The police and municipal officials reportedly reached the incidents when they heard that tensions were rising and tried to come to an agreement. It was finally concluded after speaking to both groups that the gates would remain shut. However, police report that even after this agreement stone pelting swiftly started taking place and led to a police van and another vehicle was vandalised, as well as two policemen injured. Local shops, and even a house were also affected by the arson. As per Rajasthan Tak, a shop selling brooms owned by a man named Raees was burned.

Rajasthan Tak has reported that three days before the incident of violence, a complaint was registered in the police, but no action was taken in the three days that led up to the violence.

A video has emerged by news portal called Rajasthan Tak, where a man being detained can be seen shouting, “Desh Hindu Rashtra banega.” (This country will become Hindu Rashtra.)

Allegations of police brutality 

Devendra Joshi, local BJP MLA from Jodhpur, was seen in the above video telling the media that the strictest action should be taken against those who have tried to disrupt the peace of the city. He also mentioned that action should be taken against those who have taken children, women and men out of their homes and beaten them.

Meanwhile, local Muslim women have claimed that the police collaborated with stone pelters in throwing stones in the locality. The local Muslim women have reportedly even claimed that the police went inside their homes and beat them. The women claimed that they were dragged by their hair, and beaten brutally on the heads, hands and other parts of the body with batons. Even elderly women were reportedly not spared. One elderly lady can be seen demanding action against the police violence, saying “They want what happened in Gujarat to also happen here.”

Police response

Jodhpur police commissioner Rajendra Singh told the media that the disagreement had been going on for the past few days. “The incident took place at around 10:15 pm when a group of 10 to 15 locals pelted stones at another group from the Eidgah.”

Police reportedly resorted to lathi charge against the crowd and even had to deploy 4-5 rounds of tear gas to disperse the crowd. The following weekend saw the deployment of heavy police forces, including the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary.

Two FIRs have been filed following complaints from both parties involved and the police was reportedly conducting raids over the weekend and arresting suspects. 51 people have been detained as of now. A case has been set forth under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with arms likely to cause death), 149 (unlawful assembly), 332 (voluntarily causing harm to deter a public worker from doing his duties) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). An FIR has so far been registered against 65 people.

As per the HT report, this is not the first time the area has seen communal clashes. In 2019, Ram Navami procession had also seen violence in the area known as the Vyapariyon ka Mohalla. During the incident, arson also took place as shops and vehicles were set fire too. Similarly, another incident of violence was reported in 2022 as well. The incidents in 2022 had also reportedly taken place around Eid.

Rajasthan recently saw the BJP elected to power in 2023’s state assembly elections. The chief minister Bhajan Lal Sharma’s government has since it got elected raked up issues of hijab ban. The state education minister, Madan Lal, was recently also in the news for demanding that teachers receive ‘bulldozer action’ for not behaving appropriately with students.



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