BHOPAL: Communal tension gripped several areas of Khargone town of Khargone district and Sendhwa town of Barwani district in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, following attacks during Ram Navami processions on Sunday.
Around eight to ten persons, including five cops, were injured in Khargone town in Khargone district. While five to seven people, including two cops, were hurt during the violence in the adjoining Barwani district's Sendhwa town.
While prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPc have been imposed in the entire Khargone town, a curfew has been imposed in some badly hit localities of Khargone town, including Talab Chowk, Motipura, Sanjay Nagar, Tabadi Chowk and Gaushala Marg.
The first incident happened in the minority community Talab Chowk area of Khargone town just when the Ram Navami procession was about to pass through that communally sensitive area. Stones were pelted at the procession by a mob of those opposing playing loud DJ music during the procession.
Learning of the incident, a violent face-off broke between the two communities from Gaushala Marg, Tabadi Chowk, Sanjay Nagar and Motipura areas of Khargone. With police personnel in Khargone not being in adequate numbers, cops from adjoining districts were later pressed into action in Khargone.
According to unconfirmed reports, a place of worship was vandalised between Talab Chowk and Gaushala Marg, while rioters also set a house on fire. Around eight to ten persons, including 5 cops, among them SP Khargone Siddharth Chaudhary, SDOP and local police inspector were also hurt during the incident. "Curfew has been imposed in many areas of Khargone town and might be extended to other areas if the situation doesn't improve," local SDM SS Mujalde said.
In adjoining Barwani district's communally sensitive Sendhwa town, a similar attack on the Ram Navami procession was reported in Idgah-Jogwara Road area, when a procession of the tribals was on the way from Bargaon village to join the main Ram Navami procession in Sendhwa town. As per unconfirmed reports, later a place of worship was vandalised in Mausam Chowk locality.
Incidents of the face-off between the two communities were subsequently reported from other areas, including Jai Hind Chowk and Kranti Chowk. Around seven people, including two cops, among them, the inspector of the local police station was hurt.
Swinging into action, the Barwani district collector Shivraj Singh Verma and SP Dipak Shukla along with adequate force later ensured that the main Ram Navami procession happened peacefully in main Sendhwa town.
According to Barwani district collector Shivraj Singh Verma, the situation is totally under control in Sendhwa town.