Jharkand Simmers, Again: Several injured in Communal Clash

News agencies report that several people and some policemen were injured in a clash between members of two communities on the outskirts of Ranchi on Monday night, the police said on Tuesday. According to the police, the clash took place in Sukurhutu village of Ranchi district when the women of a community went to answer the call of nature on Monday night and some youths from the other community allegedly misbehaved them. Jharkand has seen several bouts of repeated aggressions against the minority since early last year.

Jharkhand communal Violence
Image: Hindustan Times

Last night, agency reports say that members of both communities clashed and pelted stones. A police team that rushed to separate the warring members and restore peace was also targeted. Rajiv Ranjan, a police officer, sustained head injuries. The people also reportedly fired bullets into the air. The clashes in Sukurhutu village lasted for over two hours. The situation was brought under control after additional force was rushed, a police officer said.“The situation in Sukurhutu is under control. Forces are camping in the village,” Ranchi Senior Superintendent of Police Kuldeep Dwivedi told reporters.

This is the second incident of communal clash in Ranchi in a week. Last week, a clash took place between the members of two communities at Bargai, also in Ranchi. The clash took place after the members of a community objected to the music being played at a marriage party. The marriage party members, including women and children, were also thrashed by the members of other community.

Jharkand has been seeing recurrent, if individual bouts of violence, where minorities have been a target. On March 18-19, 2016, brute lynchings reminiscent of 18th century Middle America, a 12-year-old Muslim boy and a Muslim man herding eight buffaloes on their way to a Friday market were beaten up and hanged to death from a tree by suspected cattle-protection vigilantes. The initial report and photographers were pasted on facebook by Ashif Nawaz. The double murders  of the two Muslims [Mazlum Ansari, 32, and Imteyaz Khan] took place in Balumath, Latehar district of Jharkhand yesterday. This incident was shockingly reminiscent of the Dadri lynching, of September 28, 2015. In May this year, a village mob chased the car of a group of cattle traders and lynched three of them near Jamshedpur in a hunt that stretched through Wednesday night and spilled over to Thursday afternoon, the Telegraph has reported. Those killed were Sheikh Naim, 35, Sheikh Sajju, 25, and Sheikh Siraj, 26. The fate of a fourth, Sheikh Halim, 28, is remains unknown.

In mid-May this year (2017), unrest continued in many parts of Jamshedpur city in Jharkhand as fresh clashes between protestors and an apparently callous police continued on Sunday morning. Prohibitory orders under Section 144, which disallows more than four people from gathering at a place, were imposed in four parts of the city after violence in and around the areas on Saturday, reported PTI. The unrest has been sparked by the lynching of four Muslim men in Saraikela-Khushwahan district on Thursday. The local police sought to act on rumours that were being spread on What's App for over a month on alleged 'child kidnappers' on the prowl.

In April this year (2017), Ram Navmi became the occasion for the further intimidation of the minority. Reports of members of Hindutvawadi organisations entering a mosque while the namaz prayers were on and assaulting five worshippers including the Maulvi have come in from Kodarma district of Jharkand. The village with a 300 strong population is in a thickly forested area. The assault was launched on Ram Navmi day (April 4) after the Hindutvawadi organisations issued an ultimatum that there should be no namazi or iazaan (call to prayers) between the two evening prayers on that day. The refusal of the local Muslim population to comply with this ‘ultimatum’ led to the attack, while prayers were on, inside the mosque. Five persons were brutally injured while the Maulvi of the mosque is serious, it is learned. A social organisation called Insaf India reached the spot and has been trying to register an FIR regarding this assault that took place.

National Minorities Commission report on Latehar (2016)

The Report of the National Minorities Commission (NCM) on the Latehar Hangings in Jharkand had severely indicted the Jharkand Police and the Political Class for Failing to Reign in the Gauraksha Samitis who are taking Law into their own hands. Deep and widespread communalisation of sections of the Jharkand police force, and slogans like ‘go-to-Pakistan’ were frequently used by the local police against the Muslims, pointing towards a larger communalisation of the state police, says a report of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) after a team visited Latehar on the brute violence. The report, finalised on May 18 is an indictment of the authorities. Chairperson of the NCM, Naseem Ahmed speaking to Sabrangindia said that the findings contained in the report were self-explanatory. The Report can be read here.




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